Incredible slo-mo video of raptors flying through bubble clouds... for science

How does an owl's tail help it fly? To better see the role of the tail in raptor aerodynamics, researchers at the UK's Royal Veterinary College recorded birds of prey flying through clouds of tiny helium bubbles. According to the science journal Nature, analyzing the swirling motion of the bubbles enabled the scientists to discover "a new way in which birds use their tail to provide lift and so reduce drag while gliding... Their findings could provide a new way to improve the efficiency of small gliding aircraft."

More: "High aerodynamic lift from the tail reduces drag in gliding raptors" (Journal of Experimental Biology)

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How to make a paper airplane that circles "endlessly"

Dominic of The Viral Video Lab demonstrates a paper airplane that will circle "endlessly" when caught in the airstream of seven personal fans. Of course, proper positioning of the plane is key.

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Why birds fly in a V formation

Why do many birds fly in a V formation? The wonderful video curators at The Kid Should See This came across this excellent 2014 clip above from the science journal Nature explaining research into the aerodynamic advantages of the formation. From Nature:

...UK's Royal Veterinary College put data loggers on ibises to record their position, speed and wing flaps when they migrated. The ibises position themselves within the V so that they benefit from the flow of air created by the bird in front. They carefully time their wing flaps with their flock mates', to get an extra lift when flying high.

More at Nature: "Precision formation flight astounds scientists" Read the rest

How to fold World Record-setting paper airplanes

John "The Paper Airplane Guy" Collins shows us how to fold "Suzanne," the aircraft that set a 2012 world record for flying 69.14 meters.

"I bring paper airplanes into classrooms and start talking about complicated ideas involved with fluid dynamics and using paper airplanes to explain it," Collins told Wired. "If you can have a group of middle schoolers and high schoolers that don't look at their phones for 45 minutes while you're doing a demonstration, you've hit success," he says.

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Watch things flying in compressed air

Volume warning! YouTuber Latheman666 demonstrates how an air compressor with the right nozzle can make all sorts of things float. Looking forward to a "Will It Float?" channel! Read the rest