From The Archives: The Problem Of Soaring Flight

In this article, writer A. P. Herff considers a new theory based on observations of a turkey buzzard as requirements for reproducing soaring flight with airplanes. 

Herff describes how he had watched turkey buzzards "circling on motionless wings and gain altitude with a rapidity that seems to exclude the rising current theory, considering that such a current must have a vertical ascending component in excess of the bird's vertical descending component while gliding".

He shows in a diagram three views of the mechanism of soaring flight of the turkey buzzard and compares how a glider would behave in gusts of air to velocity and speed and how the "machine begins to rise until momentum is neutralized" and then "emerges into calm air".

This article was published 100 years ago on February 6, 1922 in our magazine that was called Aviation.

Read more about his fascinating conclusions in the full article.

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