25 November 2011

Prestigious postdoc to Florian Muijres

We are very happy that animal flight lab member Florian Muijres receievd 2-year postdoc from VR (The Swedish Research Council). These postdocs are awarded in severe competition and allows the recipient to spend 2 years abroad. Florian will now go to the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, where he will work in Michael Dickinson's lab. We wish all the well for Florian's postdoctoral stay, but we also hope there is a chance that we will see him again in Lund, as these postdocs usually come with a return-funding. But now we look forward to see what interesting questions Florian will investigate in the big country to the left of the Atlantic. Congratulations, and all the best of luck!

21 November 2011

New birds to the wind tunnel

During the weekend two new birds, Diamond doves, moved in to the wind tunnel aviary. The hope is that they will learn to fly in the wind tunnel and that we will be able to find something interesting out from these flights. These are small doves living in arid habitats of Australia in the wild, while they have become popular pet-animals because they easily reproduce in captivity. Hopefully these pigeons will be flying in the wind tunnel soon, and allow us to study the wing-beat kinematics, the wake of flapping and maybe also gliding flight. Stay tuned and you will soon hear more about this!

11 November 2011

Hovering in a whiteye

A research team based in Taiwan has published a new PIV-study on the hovering aerodynamics in hovering Zosterops japonicus, which birdwatchers know as whiteyes. These 6-7 g birds are capable of hovering, i.e. flying at zero forward speed, which was studied in a special hovering chamber. Wing kinematics and induced vortex flows were monitored, which uncovered a new mechanism for enhancing lift force in hovering in birds - a ventral clap-and-fling. This mechanism is known from some insects already since the dane Torkel Weis-Fogh's pioneering work, but had not been observed in birds before. Interestingly some of the high-lift mechanism previously known from insect flight are now being observed in birds and bats, mainly due to the application of the PIV-technique to animal flight. We, the Lund crew, are happy to see this approach spreading to other labs studying animal flight. The paper can be found in Experiments in Fluids.