Why do birds fly in a 'V' formation?
Article by: Abhinav Tanksale, on 23 April 2022, at 02:25 am Los Angeles time
While birds are mostly known for their ability to fly, the flying is not an easy task. They need to spend a lot of time flying from one destination to another. They will spend much of the time in their journey in the air, gathering food to feed themselves. During their flight, the flock of birds are able to use the V-formation to enhance their flight.
V-formation flocking behavior is highly visible in bird species that migrate annually over long distances. Recent research has shown that bird flocks can gain up to 30% in flight efficiency by flying in a V-formation. This article describes how the geometry of V-formation allows birds to reduce drag and turbulence, which increases the flock's range and reduces energy expenditure.
Take a closer look and you'll see why as they fly in the same direction with all of their wings pointed towards the ground. The air below their wings is at a higher pressure than the air above their wings which means that the low pressure zones are pushing them upwards just by nature's design.
Just like the V formation of your favorite bird, airplanes also often follow this pattern when conducting military missions and it'll work to your benefit, too! Whenever something has mass moving towards an area in low pressure, more mass should be attracted to that region because - guess what - when one part of a substance moves into another part of that same substance more mass will be crushed into that small space.
And aptly put: density is directly proportional to weight which means that not only do you sleep better at night when things feel balanced but fuel efficiency can improve as well.
Another reason is that this formation allows the birds to align themselves to take advantage of favorable winds that happen to be surrounding the bird who flies first. It also gives them an easier opportunity at making it out of energy-draining regions quicker and towards areas where there is more oxygen supply then they would have had by going off on their own accord.
As altitude increases, the air pressure decreases. The net rise of Earth's atmosphere (the sum of all masses) results in the natural process of climbing an aircraft upwards. Airplanes rely on this phenomenon to fly, and pilots know that during take-off it is important to climb at an angle of between 10 and 20 degrees. Studies show that flying higher is more efficient, with less surface area dragging against the wind and creating friction thus generating drag.
The birds keep around one meter away from the bird up front, which creates a less turbulent environment for them behind them, possibly allowing them to react quicker if something unexpected were to jump into their paths.
Through this phenomena, we can learn an important thing. When you start to observe the world around you carefully, you will start to see patterns everywhere. These patterns can help you to make decisions about the best way forward. Once you can identify the patterns, you will be able to use them in everything you do and your life will be more effective just like the concept of bird flight used in airplanes.