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Bird Aerodynamics

The alula is a high lift device at the leading edge of birds wings that allows them to fly at high angles of attack and low speeds without stall occurs on the wing. Alula influence in wings aerodynamics is similar to the leading edge flaps placed on the aircraft wings, devices that are only used during take off and landing. In forty species of birds, several representative parameters of the wings geometry have been measured, including the alula size and position. This data analysis shows that both alula position and size depends on the wing features (wing loading and elongation).
In order to clarify whether alula is deflected voluntarily by birds or deflection is produced by the pressure forces, a few simple experiments have been carried out. Experimental results suggest that alula is deflected by the pressure forces and not voluntarily.