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Current Flight News and Events, Flight News Articles.
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Vagabonding female butterflies weigh in on reproductive strategies
A new study by researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, published today in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, shows that dispersals, when undertaken by butterflies in search of unpredictable resources, selectively burden the egg-carrying females on their long flights. (2020-08-19)

Perovskite and organic solar cells prove successful on a rocket flight in space
Almost all satellites are powered by solar cells - but solar cells are heavy. While conventional high-performance cells reach up to three watts of electricity per gram, perovskite and organic hybrid cells could provide up to ten times that amount. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has now tested this type of cell in space for the first time. (2020-08-13)

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite finds a stubborn tropical depression 06W
Tropical Depression 06W has been around for days, and continues to hold together as it moves in a westerly direction toward Taiwan in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of the storm. (2020-08-12)

Some dinosaurs could fly before they were birds
New research using the most comprehensive study of feathered dinosaurs and early birds has revised the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs at the origin of birds. An international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson published their findings in the journal Current Biology. The team pored over fossils, developed a novel analytical pipeline to search for evolutionary trees, and estimated how each species may have crossed the stringent thresholds for powered flight. (2020-08-12)

NASA finds Jangmi now an Extra-Tropical Storm
NASA's Aqua satellite obtained a visible image of Tropical Storm Jangmi after it transitioned into an extra-tropical storm. (2020-08-11)

Most close relatives of birds neared the potential for powered flight but few crossed its thresholds
An international study led by HKU Research Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Pittman produced an updated evolutionary tree of early birds and their closest relatives to reconstruct powered flight potential, showing it evolved at least three times. Many ancestors of the closest bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential, suggesting broad experimentation with wing-assisted locomotion before flight evolved. The findings were published in the journal Current Biology. (2020-08-10)

Bees' buzz is more powerful for pollination, than for defence or flight
Buzzing by bees during flower pollination is significantly more powerful than that used for defense or flight, according to a new study from experts at the University of Stirling. (2020-07-29)

Butterfly genomics: Monarchs migrate and fly differently, but meet up and mate
A new study confirms that while the eastern and western butterflies fly differently, they are genetically the same. The journal Molecular Ecology published the findings, led by evolutionary biologists at Emory University. (2020-07-29)

NASA animation tracks Tropical Storm Hanna's progression
NASA's Aqua satellite obtained visible imagery as Tropical Storm Hanna formed in the Gulf of Mexico and continued to organize. A new animation from NASA shows how Hanna developed and intensified as it heads toward landfall in Texas this weekend. (2020-07-24)

Hubble sees summertime on Saturn
Saturn is truly the lord of the rings in this latest snapshot from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, taken on July 4, 2020, when the opulent giant world was 839 million miles from Earth. This new Saturn image was taken during summer in the planet's northern hemisphere. (2020-07-23)

Is it a bird, a plane? Not superman, but a flapping wing drone
A drone prototype that mimics the aerobatic manoeuvres of one of the world's fastest birds, the swift, is being developed by an international team of engineers in the latest example of biologically inspired flight. (2020-07-22)

Pine beetles successful no matter how far they roam -- with devastating effects
Whether they travel only a few metres or tens of kilometres to a new host tree, female pine beetles use different strategies to find success--with major negative consequences for pine trees, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. (2020-07-16)

Experts' high-flying study reveals secrets of soaring birds
New research has revealed when it comes to flying the largest of birds don't rely on flapping to move around. Instead they make use of air currents to keep them airborne for hours at a time. A study has revealed the Andean condor - the world's heaviest soaring bird - actually flaps its wings for one per cent of its flight time. (2020-07-14)

Converting female mosquitoes to non-biting males with implications for mosquito control
''Nix has great potential for developing mosquito control strategies to reduce vector populations through female-to-male sex conversion, or to aid in the Sterile Insect Technique, which requires releasing only nonbiting males,'' said James Biedler, a research scientist in the Tu lab. (2020-07-14)

Airplane noise appears to negatively impact fetal health
For the first time, researchers have provided a causal estimate linking high-level noise exposure to another key health challenge: low birth weight (< 2,500 grams or approximately 5.5 pounds). Health economists from Lehigh University, Lafayette College and the University of Colorado, Denver were able to pinpoint a causal link by studying residential neighborhoods impacted by recent changes in airplane flight patterns going in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the largest airports in the United States. (2020-07-13)

When calling loudly, echolocation is costly for small bats
Calling in the ultrasonic range enables small bats to orient themselves in the dark and track down insects. Louder calls travel farther, improving a bat's ability to detect their prey. It was long assumed that echolocation does not contribute much to energy expenditure in flight because individuals couple their calls with the beat of their wings. Scientists at the Leibniz-IZW in Berlin have now shown that high intensity echolocation calls substantially contribute to energy expenditure. (2020-07-13)

Ben-Gurion University researchers determine how to accurately pinpoint malicious drone operators
When tested in simulated drone paths, the model was able to predict the operator location with 78% accuracy. The next step in the project would be to repeat this experiment with data captured from real drones. (2020-07-08)

Scientists shed new light on how seabirds cruise through air and water
New insight on how four species of seabirds have developed the ability to cruise through both air and water has been published today in the open-access journal eLife. (2020-06-30)

OSU research suggests a better way to keep birds from hitting power lines
Suspended, rotating devices known as ''flappers'' may be the key to fewer birds flying into power lines, a new study suggests. (2020-06-24)

NASA satellite gives a hello to tropical storm Dolly
During the morning of June 23, the fourth system in the Northern Atlantic Ocean was a subtropical depression. By the afternoon, the subtropical depression took on tropical characteristics and was renamed Dolly. NASA's Terra satellite greeted Tropical Storm Dolly by taking an image of the new tropical storm. (2020-06-23)

Could drones deliver packages more efficiently by hopping on the bus?
In a simulation, drones were able to hitch rides on public transit vehicles to save energy and increase flight range. An algorithm decided which drones should make which deliveries, one package at a time, in what order -- and when to fly versus hitching a ride. (2020-06-23)

Recovery from airline delays works best with future disruptions in mind
Instead of responding to each flight delay as if it were an isolated event, airlines should consider the likelihood of potential disruptions ahead, researchers report in the journal Transportation Science. They developed a new approach that allows airlines to respond to flight delays and cancellations while also incorporating information about likely disruptions later the same day. (2020-06-22)

Wind beneath their wings: Albatrosses fine-tuned to wind conditions
A new study of albatrosses has found that wind plays a bigger role in their decision to take flight than previously thought, and due to their differences in body size, males and females differ in their response to wind. (2020-06-19)

NASA observes large Saharan dust plume over Atlantic ocean
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite observed a huge Saharan dust plume streaming over the North Atlantic Ocean, beginning on June 13. Satellite data showed the dust had spread over 2,000 miles. (2020-06-19)

Decide now or wait for something better?
When we make decisions, we don't always have all options available to choose from at the same time. Instead they often come one after another, as for example when we search for an apartment or a flight ticket. So we have to decide on something without knowing if a better option might have come along later. A study at the University of Zurich has shown that our standards drop more and more in the course of decision-making. (2020-06-18)

New research leads to Army drones changing shape mid-flight
oon, the U.S. Army will be able to deploy autonomous air vehicles that can change shape during flight, according to new research presented at the AIAA Aviation Forum and Exposition's virtual event June 16. (2020-06-18)

A robot to track and film flying insects
French scientists have developed the first cable-driven robot that can follow and interact with free-flying insects. With the help of this ''lab-on-cables,'' which is equipped with cameras and a controller that minimizes tracking errors between the insect's and the robot's position, they successfully studied the free flight of moths up to a speed of 3 metres/second. (2020-06-10)

Measuring Atlantic bluefin tuna with a drone
Researchers have used an unmanned aerial system (or drone) to gather data on schooling juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Maine. This pilot study tested whether a drone could keep up with the tuna while also taking photographs that captured physical details of this fast-moving fish. (2020-06-05)

Revealing how flies make decisions on the fly to survive
Many insects process visual information to make decisions about controlling their flying skills and movements- flies must decide whether to pursue prey, avoid a predator, maintain their flight trajectory or land based on their perceptions. Why is understanding this process important? We move every day and perceive the world differently as a result. These neurons correspond to descending neurons in human spinal cords. (2020-05-28)

Analysis of bird species reveals how wings adapted to their environment and behavior
Bird wings adapted for long-distance flight are linked to their environment and behavior, according to new research on an extensive database of wing measurements, led by the University of Bristol. (2020-05-18)

Theory of detonation-driven hypervelocity shock tunnels and its demonstration
The hypersonic ground testing is a critical issue for hypersonics. The problems arising from developing hypervelocity shock tunnels are identified and discussed in detail. The theory of detonation-driven hypervelocity shock tunnels is proposed for developing advanced ground facilities. The forward detonation cavity driver is developed to remove rarefaction wave effects for enhancing driving ability. The tailored condition for detonation-driven shock tunnels is also proposed to achieve long test duration. (2020-05-18)

Birds take flight with help from Sonic hedgehog
Flight feathers are amazing evolutionary innovations that allowed birds to conquer the sky. A study led by Matthew Towers (University of Sheffield) and Marian Ros (University of Cantabria) and published in Development now reveals that flight feather identity is established thanks to Sonic hedgehog -- a signalling molecule well-known for giving the digits of the limb their different identities. These findings suggest the pre-existing digit identity mechanism was co-opted during the evolution of flight feathers. (2020-05-06)

Studying pterosaurs and other fossil flyers to better engineer manmade flight
Pterosaurs were the largest animals ever to fly. They soared the skies for 160 million years -- much longer than any species of modern bird. Despite their aeronautic excellence, these ancient flyers have largely been overlooked in the pursuit of bioinspired flight technologies. In a review published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution researchers outline why and how the physiology of fossil flyers could provide ancient solutions to modern flight problems, like aerial stability and self-launch. (2020-04-15)

Predicting in-flight air density for more accurate landing
Knowing the air density outside of a spacecraft can have a substantial effect on its angle of descent and ability to hit a specific landing spot. But sensors that can withstand the harsh hypersonic conditions are rare. Aerospace engineering researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed an algorithm that can run onboard a vehicle, providing important real-time data to aid in steering the craft, particularly during the crucial entry, descent, and landing stage. (2020-04-01)

Bats depend on conspecifics when hunting above farmland
Common noctules -- one of the largest bat species native to Germany -- are searching for their fellows during their hunt for insects above farmland. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) show in a paper published in the journal Oikos that bats forage on their own in insect-rich forests, but hunt collectively in groups over insect-poor farmland. (2020-03-25)

6000-8000 km round trip flight of migratory wading birds tracked
Plovers winter and migrate utilizing rice paddy fields along their annual route. Little ringed plovers breeding in Nagano, Japan were tracked along their 6000 to 8000km round trip journey to gather previously unknown data regarding their course and preferred fueling sites. (2020-03-18)

USask computer-based simulator tests insects for effects of new pesticide
University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have used a novel combination of techniques to compare the effects of two families of pesticides used in agriculture, and found that at low dosages the newer pesticide is less toxic than a currently used neonicotinoid one. (2020-02-24)

Small altitude changes could cut the climate impact of aircraft
Contrails -- the white, fluffy streaks in the sky that form behind planes -- can harm the environment. Now, scientists report in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology that small flight path adjustments could reduce the climate impact of these emissions. (2020-02-12)

Small altitude changes could cut climate impact of aircraft by up to 59%
Altering the altitudes of less than 2% of flights could reduce contrail-linked climate change by 59%, says a new Imperial study. (2020-02-12)

Bumblebees carry heavy loads in economy mode
Bumblebees are the big lifters of the insect world, able to fly back to the hive with almost their own bodyweight in nectar on board. A study published Feb. 5 in Science Advances shows how they do it -- and that bees can show more flexibility in behavior than you might expect from a bumbling insect. (2020-02-05)

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