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Q:

Why do birds fly in a V formation?

A:

Birds have a low pressure zone over their wings and high pressure underneath. They create wingtip vortices just like airplanes. Geese fly in a V-formation to reduce the drag caused by these vortices. The vortex created by the lead bird is counteracted by the vortex created by the birds flying at either wingtip. The lead goose works hardest, and periodically drops back to let other geese lead. The V-formation simulates a larger wing, increasing the aspect ratio and reducing vortex drag.

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Categories: Aerodynamics