>1) Geese would not fly in V formations and the lead goose would not
>swap with others in the flock. (Why a V not one behind another? Is
>that a lower energy use configuration or is it a simple matter of them
>being to be able to better see the goose in front of them?)
Studies have shown that this is, indeed, a lower energy use
configuration! But it's not a question of reduced drag, as in the
bicycle racer situation, but something else entirely.
Each goose flies in the "tip vortex" produced by the preceding goose.
You may have noticed in movies of aircraft that sometimes a vortex,
or spiral, of air is visible (due to moisture condensation) rising
off the tip of the aircraft's wing. This same phenomena occurs off
the tip of bird's wings. Each goose in the vee flies in this rising
vortex of air from the goose in front of it to gain a little "lift"
and thus reduce the effort needed to fly. They fly only to the
outside, not the inside of the vee to avoid flying in the "dirty," or
turbulent, air directly behind another goose.
You can look it up,
Jimmy Weierich, KG2AU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Vestal, NY USA FN12xa
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