Current Flight News and Events

Current Flight News and Events, Flight News Articles.
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Bats on the rise
Bats carried aloft to almost 2,000 metres by air currents (2021-02-09)

Dragonflies perform upside down backflips to right themselves
High speed cameras and CGI technology have revealed the inbuilt righting mechanisms used by dragonflies when they are thrown off balance. (2021-02-09)

Fast-flying bats rely on late-night updrafts to reach great heights
Although scientists knew that some bats could reach heights of over 1,600 meters (or approximately one mile) above the ground during flight, they didn't understand how they managed to do it without the benefit of thermals that aren't typically available to them during their nighttime forays. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 4th have uncovered the bats' secret to high-flying. (2021-02-04)

Mouse study: gabapentin prevents harmful structural changes in spinal cord
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine found that the widely prescribed pain-relief drug gabapentin can prevent harmful structural changes in the injured spinal cords of mice, and also block cardiovascular changes and immune suppression caused by spinal cord injury. (2021-01-26)

Climate change puts hundreds of coastal airports at risk of flooding
Newcastle University scientists have found that 269 airports are at risk of coastal flooding now. A temperature rise of 2C - consistent with the Paris Agreement - would lead to 100 airports being below mean sea level and 364 airports at risk of flooding. If global mean temperature rise exceeds this then as many as 572 airports will be at risk by 2100, leading to major disruptions without appropriate adaptation. (2021-01-21)

Butterfly wing clap explains mystery of flight
The fluttery flight of butterflies has so far been somewhat of a mystery to researchers, given their unusually large and broad wings relative to their body size. Now researchers at Lund University in Sweden have studied the aerodynamics of butterflies in a wind tunnel. The results suggest that butterflies use a highly effective clap technique, therefore making use of their unique wings. This helps them rapidly take off when escaping predators. (2021-01-20)

A neuronal cocktail for motivation
'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' is a popular adage that talks about the initial thrust required to embark on a task. However, once begun, how do we persevere on the job and not let it fall apart like a New Year resolution? How do we stay motivated? (2021-01-19)

Well-built muscles underlie athletic performance in birds
Muscle structure and body size predict the athletic performance of Olympic athletes, such as sprinters. The same, it appears, is true of wild seabirds that can commute hundreds of kilometres a day to find food, according to a recent paper by scientists from McGill and Colgate universities published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. (2021-01-19)

How to keep drones flying when a motor fails
Robotics researchers at the University of Zurich show how onboard cameras can be used to keep damaged quadcopters in the air and flying stably -- even without GPS. (2021-01-13)

Big bumblebees learn locations of best flowers
Big bumblebees take time to learn the locations of the best flowers, new research shows. (2020-12-28)

Invention may get Army quadcopters to move faster
Researchers believe a new hinge is the key to get load-bearing, large, Army quadrotors to climb a few dozen feet in seconds (2020-12-16)

Charles Darwin was right about why insects are losing the ability to fly
Most insects can fly. Yet scores of species have lost that extraordinary ability, particularly on islands. (2020-12-09)

Archaeopteryx fossil provides insights into the origins of flight
Moulting is thought to be unorganised in the first feathered dinosaurs because they had yet to evolve flight, so determining how moulting evolved can lead to better understanding of flight origins. Recently an international research discovered that the earliest record of feather moulting from the famous early fossil bird Archaeopteryx found in southern Germany in rocks that used to be tropical lagoons ~150 million years ago. The findings were published in Communications Biology. (2020-12-09)

Paleontologists find pterosaur precursors that fill a gap in early evolutionary history
''Where did pterosaurs come from?' is one of the most outstanding questions in reptile evolution; we think we now have an answer,'' said Sterling Nesbitt, associate professor of geosciences. (2020-12-09)

Army looks to improve quadrotor drone performance
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's, now referred to as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory collaborated with researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to create a trajectory planner that significantly shortens the time it takes for VTOL tail-sitter drones to make this crucial transition. The team designed the trajectory planner specifically for the Army's Common Research Configuration platform, a quadrotor biplane tail-sitter used to test new design features and study fundamental aerodynamics. (2020-12-08)

Airplane noise at night can trigger cardiovascular death
For the first time, a study demonstrated that loud night-time noise from airplanes can trigger a cardiovascular death within two hours. Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and partners compared mortality data with acute night-time noise exposure around Zurich airport between 2000 and 2015. The results of the study have been published today in the renowned European Heart Journal. (2020-11-27)

Space worms experiment reveals gravity affects genes
Living at low gravity affects cells at the genetic level, according to a study of worms in space. (2020-11-25)

Infection by parasites disturbs flight behaviour in shoals of fish
Shoal behaviour in fish is an important strategy for them to safeguard their survival. Certain parasites are able to manipulate this strategy. Biologists have discovered that infected individual fish disturb the transmission of flight behaviour and, as a result, increase not only their own risk of being eaten, but also that of other - non-infected - members of the group. (2020-11-09)

Should I run, or should I not? The neural basis of aggression and flight
Researchers in the Gross group at EMBL Rome have investigated the mechanism behind defensive behaviour in mice. They have identified a specific area of the brain that encodes both spatial and threat cues to drive location-specific defensive responses. (2020-10-29)

Giant lizards learnt to fly over millions of years
Most detailed every study into how animals evolve to better suit their environments shows that pterosaurs become more efficient at flying over millions of years before going extinct with the dinosaurs. (2020-10-28)

Raptor-inspired drone with morphing wing and tail
EPFL engineers have developed a drone with a feathered wing and tail that give it unprecedented flight agility. (2020-10-28)

Study reveals bat-winged dinosaurs had short-lived gliding abilities
Research Assistant Professor Dr Michael PITTMAN (Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory, Division of Earth and Planetary Science & Department of Earth Sciences) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), recently showed that powered flight potential evolved at least three times and that many ancestors of close bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential, suggesting broad experimentation with wing-assisted locomotion before flight evolved. (2020-10-23)

These two bird-sized dinosaurs evolved the ability to glide, but weren't great at it
Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, researchers report October 22 in the journal iScience. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved. (2020-10-22)

Bat-winged dinosaurs that could glide
Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings, published in iScience, support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved. (2020-10-22)

Losing flight had huge benefits for ants, finds new study
Researchers have taken detailed scans of worker ants to examine the hypothesis that the loss of flight is directly connected to the evolution of strength. (2020-10-18)

NASA animation tracks the end of Tropical Storm Delta  
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery as Tropical Storm Delta made landfall in Louisiana and moved northeastward soaking the U.S. southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. (2020-10-13)

NASA imagery reveals Tropical Storm Chan-hom's skewed structure
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Tropical Storm Chan-hom as it continued moving though the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. The imagery revealed that the center of circulation was exposed and its strongest storms were south of the center. (2020-10-05)

NASA finds post-tropical storm Beta's clouds blanketing the Southeastern US   
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Post-Tropical Cyclone Beta as it continued moving slowly through the Tennessee Valley. Clouds associated with the low-pressure area looked like a large white blanket draped across much of the southeastern U.S. (2020-09-25)

Post-Tropical Storm Teddy in NASA Newfoundland nighttime view
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared image of Post-tropical cyclone Teddy over the province of Newfoundland, Canada in the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2020. (2020-09-24)

These birds communicate by fluttering their feathers -- and they have different accents
Fork-tailed Flycatchers, scientists just discovered, communicate with the sounds made when they flutter their feathers. And by analyzing recordings of the birds in flight, the researchers found that subspecies with different migration patterns have different ''dialects'' to their feather sounds, possibly helping contribute to them splitting into separate species. (2020-09-22)

NASA finds Tropical Storm Dolphin going swimmingly
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of recently formed Tropical Depression 14W as it strengthened into a tropical storm. Terra satellite imagery showed the storm was organizing. (2020-09-21)

NASA-NOAA satellite catches nighttime view of major hurricane Teddy
An early morning infrared image of Hurricane Teddy taken from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite shows the proximity of the strengthening hurricane to the Lesser Antilles island chain and Puerto Rico. Teddy is a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. (2020-09-17)

NASA sees Tropical Depression Rene dissipating
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Rene as it was dissipating in the central North Atlantic Ocean. (2020-09-15)

NASA finds Tropical Storm Rene less affected by wind shear
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Tropical Storm Rene is it continued moving north though the central North Atlantic Ocean. Rene appeared more organized on satellite imagery as wind shear eased. (2020-09-10)

SwRI-led study indicates sand-sized meteoroids are peppering asteroid Bennu
A new study published this month in JGR Planets posits that the major particle ejections off the near-Earth asteroid Bennu may be the consequence of impacts by small, sand-sized particles called meteoroids onto its surface as the object nears the Sun. The study's primary author is Southwest Research Institute scientist Dr. William Bottke, who used data from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission. (2020-09-09)

NASA eyes typhoon Haishen's 10 mile-wide eye   
NASA's Terra satellite's visible image of Typhoon Haishen revealed a small ''pinhole'' eye surrounded by several hundred miles of thunderstorms spiraling around it as it continued moving north though the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. (2020-09-03)

Drones can be a source of disturbance to wintering waterbird flocks
Newly published research, carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in Scotland, shows that wintering waterbirds, such as ducks, geese, swans and wading birds can easily be scared into flight by drones. (2020-09-01)

Eye of a fly: Researchers reveal secrets of fly vision for rapid flight control
By examining how fruit flies use eye movements to enhance flight control with a staggeringly fast reaction speed -- about 30 times faster than the blink of an eye -- Penn State researchers have detailed a framework to mimic this ability in robotics. (2020-09-01)

Landmark HKU-led volume on past progress and new frontiers in the study of early birds and their close relatives
A wealth of spectacular fossils has demonstrated that birds are theropod dinosaurs, with Pennaraptora being the most relevant subgroup to transition from non-avian dinosaurs to birds. Here we announce the publication of a landmark journal volume on pennaraptoran theropods edited by HKU Research Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Pittman and Prof. Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment. (2020-08-24)

Migration and dispersal of butterflies have contrasting effect on flight morphology
Migration and dispersal are vastly different activities with very different benefits and risks. NCBS Grad student Vaishali Bhaumik and her advisor Dr Krushnamegh Kunte decided to investigate the effects of such activities on the morphology (form and structure) and reproduction of butterflies. (2020-08-19)

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