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OK, this is what I call silly science.
Jet designers may learn from gluing feathers to birds

Note that although the story calls the process "imping", imping in falconry usually means mending or replacing broken feathers, not adding new ones that were never there before...



22nd Jul, 2002 09:05 (UTC)
I bet they were pleased
I bet the birds were pleased with their enhanced feathers. To some extent this experiment might inform aircraft designers (gee, look at what the bird does with this control surface) but mostly it sounds like a, errr..., pet project of someone.

The main limitation on the manouverability of aircraft is the pilot, who can only take sharp turns if the centre of rotation is above their head (so they experience a downward force). This causes the aircraft to bank before they turn, Elite-style. To do poweful sideways turns they would need a gimball-mounted seat in a spherical cockpit. You can tell I'm too bored to work.

Of course, the whole exercise is irrelevant because nobody shoots at NATO aircraft anyhow, so gluing feathers to birds is as good a way of spending government money as any.