UTIAS collaboration with zoologists reveals how gulls ‘wing morph’ for stable soaring

A unique collaboration between University of British Columbia (UBC) zoologists and U of T Engineering’s aviation expert Professor Philippe Lavoie (UTIAS) provides new insights into how gulls configure their wing shape — known as wing morphing — to stabilize their flight. The findings could be used to design more efficient flying vehicles, including soaring drones for farming or environmental monitoring.

Although a gliding bird’s ability to stabilize its flight path is as critical as its ability to produce lift, relatively few quantitative studies on avian flight stability have been completed. This is what brought UBC researchers Christina Harvey, Vikram Baliga and Professor Doug Altshuler to Lavoie’s wind tunnel lab.  Read more…