Diving-Flight Aerodynamics of a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinusReport as inadecuate




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This study investigates the aerodynamics of the falcon Falco peregrinus while diving. During a dive peregrines can reach velocities of more than 320 km h−1. Unfortunately, in freely roaming falcons, these high velocities prohibit a precise determination of flight parameters such as velocity and acceleration as well as body shape and wing contour. Therefore, individual F. peregrinus were trained to dive in front of a vertical dam with a height of 60 m. The presence of a well-defined background allowed us to reconstruct the flight path and the body shape of the falcon during certain flight phases. Flight trajectories were obtained with a stereo high-speed camera system. In addition, body images of the falcon were taken from two perspectives with a high-resolution digital camera. The dam allowed us to match the high-resolution images obtained from the digital camera with the corresponding images taken with the high-speed cameras. Using these data we built a life-size model of F. peregrinus and used it to measure the drag and lift forces in a wind-tunnel. We compared these forces acting on the model with the data obtained from the 3-D flight path trajectory of the diving F. peregrinus. Visualizations of the flow in the wind-tunnel uncovered details of the flow structure around the falcon’s body, which suggests local regions with separation of flow. High-resolution pictures of the diving peregrine indicate that feathers pop-up in the equivalent regions, where flow separation in the model falcon occurred.



Author: Benjamin Ponitz , Anke Schmitz, Dominik Fischer, Horst Bleckmann, Christoph Brücker

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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