There are four general wing shapes that are common in birds: Passive soaring, active soaring, elliptical wings, and high-speed wings.
The general shape of owl wings is suited to reducing this influence, either by an overall elliptical shape, which is especially prominent for barn owls [37,38], or by the expression of slotted wings due to feather emarginations [39,40] that can be found for many species within the Strigidae family.
An elliptical planform is the most efficient aerodynamic shape for an untwisted wing, leading to the lowest amount of induced drag.
There are also five different shapes used for aircraft wings including rectangular, tapered straight, elliptical, swept, and delta.
Elliptical wings are good for short bursts of high speed. They allow fast take offs and tight maneuvering. While they allow high speed, the speed cannot be maintained. Examples of birds that have this wing type are doves, crows, ravens, blackbirds, sparrows, and thrushes (such as the American Robin).
In contrast, the short rounded elliptical game bird wings of a grouse, turkey, pheasant, or quail can get them off the ground in a heartbeat, but the energy that it takes to lift that heavy body off the ground doesn’t last long.
Nowadays, the technological complexity of the elliptical wing is greatly facilitated by computer technology, digital machine tools and especially composite technology. Nevertheless, some problems remain, and, as a result, the eventual renaissance of the elliptical wing is not as significant as one might expect.
High-lift/Broad Soaring Wings
Broad wings which provide high lift and soaring are found on vultures, condors, hawks, ospreys, pelicans and eagles. These wings are broad and only relatively long, allowing for takeoff and landing in fairly confined areas, high lift, low speed soaring, and slow descents.
Pigeons can have 4 different wing patterns: bar, barless, check, or t-check. Bar is considered “wild type,” because it was the pattern in the wild ancestor to domestic pigeons. The other patterns are due to natural genetic variations, which were selected and propagated by breeders.
Birds use mainly three types of flight, distinguished by wing motion.- Gliding flight.
Take-off and landing.
Adult falcons have thin, tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly. Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which make their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broad wing.
In fact, there is only one mass-produced aircraft of that time with an elliptical wing, the American P-47 Thunderbolt.
Ellipticals Offer a More Efficient Workout
What is also worth noting is that, while it feels as though you are not exerting that much energy, you are in fact getting a more efficient workout. It is these upper and lower body benefits that have helped elliptical machines see a rise in popularity.
There are three types of wings you’ll find at the market: the whole wing, the flat, and the drumette (the latter being the part that looks like a mini-drumstick). When you see these two parts together, it’s easy to imagine the wing of a bird.
Drums, or drumettes, resemble small chicken legs, with a single, main bone running through the middle. Flats, or wingettes, get their name because they’re, well, flat. They have two smaller bones that run the length of the wing.
In flight shows a long, fan-shaped tail with large white tips. Its wings make a distinctive high-pitched whistle in flight.
The bird feather diagram below displays the different parts of the bird feather. It is labeled with the calamus (quill), rachis (shaft), barbs, and vane.
Slotted High-Lift Wing of a Swainson’s Hawk
This is an adaption called emargination, which provides greater lift in flight. This is the wing type of hawks, eagles, vultures, geese, swans, and the larger wading birds.
11/25/2019. (Photo via Shutterstock) A wild turkey is instantly recognizable for many reasons. These birds are big — sometimes tipping the scales at more than 20 pounds — but what most often catches our eyes is the bright red skin that hangs from the birds’ necks. This fleshy, bumpy skin has a name: the wattle.
“Surgical techniques already in existence can be used to stretch torso fat and rejig rib bones to create a wing. Although no human would be able to fly, they would resemble angels and have full sensation in their new hanging, boned flaps of flesh,” according to the article.
Elliptical Aerodynamically, the elliptical planform is the most efficient as elliptical spanwise lift distribution has the lowest possible induced drag (as given by thin airfoil theory). However, the most important disadvantage of the elliptical wing is that its manufacturability is poor.
What if we did have wings though? Even if humans did have wings, we wouldn’t immediately be able to fly. To fly, we would also need the right body size and metabolism.
One of the most noticeable differences is their size. Eagles are much larger than hawks, and have longer wingspans. Hawks have a similar appearance, but if you look carefully, you will notice that the wings of hawks tend to be more rounded, and they have short, broad, rounded tails and a stocky build.