Formation Flight of Birds

@article{Lissaman1970FormationFO,
  title={Formation Flight of Birds},
  author={Peter B. S. Lissaman and Carl A. Shollenberger},
  journal={Science},
  year={1970},
  volume={168},
  pages={1003 - 1005}
}
Formation flight of birds improves aerodynamic efficiency. Theoretically, 25 birds could have a range increase of about 70 percent as compared with a lone bird, the advantage being more pronounced when there is a tail wind. A vee formation is required to equally distribute the drag saving, and, contrary to other statements, the lead bird does not necessarily have the most strenuous position. The angle of the predicted vee compares with that observed in nature; stability mechanisms are described… 

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References

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Flight of Birds

DURING the hurricane of October 6, 1873, I was residing on the west shore of Biscayne Bay, South Florida. In the early part of the gale, and while it was approaching its height, I noticed overhead

THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS

Bird flight can be studied neither as a problem in physics nor from the standpoint of biology alone. Both points of view are necessary and complementary.