Traveling Via V

“The conscious emulation of life’s genius is a survival strategy for the human race, a path to a sustainable future. The more our world looks & functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.”

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I do not know how people have thought to model things to resemble the designs found in nature. However, this idea was genius and I believe that current advancements in technology can attest to that. Who knew that while trying to develop solutions to what we believe to be new and exotic to the present generation, the answer may lie in nature and actually be hundreds of years old? One example that impresses me is the idea of implementing the V-formation bird flocks take into jets flying cross-country. When birds travel in v-formation, one bird’s flapping wings creates a small updraft that lifts the bird that follows that one. Then, as each bird passes the others to get to the front, each one adds its own energy to the stroke of the other birds helping the flock to maintain flight. Alternating their order throughout their flight also helps in dispersing the exertion.

Why is any of this important to us? Well, if you like to travel than you are aware of one method used daily: the airplane. People are constantly flying and there are several jets that go out daily to and from different airports. These vehicles also require fuel just like any car. A group of researchers at Stanford University have envisioned that passenger airlines could learn from this and save fuel by imitating the birds’ tactics. They imagine jets from airports on the West Coast meeting up and flying in packs to their East Coast destinations and applying the birds’ technic of rotating position during flight. They have estimated that jets would save up to 15% of the fuel typically used! Considering that we are worried about gas emissions into our atmosphere, I do not see any reason why this should never be implemented. I also think it’d be quite an experience to fly during this process and even interesting, still, to spectators down below.   

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