Daily Image - Mar 2011 Archive - sonofjohan

01 Mar 11 From both my years of flying as an Aerospace Physiologist while on active duty, and having grown up in a Boeing Aircraft family, I find it impossible to not make comparisons between the marvelous creation for flight seen in birds and the crude but fully functional approximations in our aircraft. While I was watching these Snow Geese land on Friday last I couldn't help but make the comparison of the wing tip feathers on the geese and trim tabs on the wing of a plane. Having watched many raptors from above, it always amazes me how simply tweaking those distal feathers allows them to make some very subtle adjustments in their flight. I have no doubt that the same is occurring in the landing of the geese as captured in this image, however it wasn't quite so obvious, likely because of the difference in timing; soaring in the case of the raptors and near "crash" landing with the geese. I also wanted to make a comparison with the elevated feathers in the backs of the geese and speed brakes in modern aircraft, but I think that is more likely wishful conjecturing than actuality. Nonetheless, it is fun to watch these beautiful birds both in flight and as the transition to and from it. ISO 200; 1/1600 sec @ f / 9.

water fowlsnow geese