Ailerons are hinged flight control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The ailerons are used to control the aircraft in roll, which results in a change in heading due to the tilting of the lift vector. The two ailerons are typically interconnected so that one goes down when the other goes up: the down-going aileron increases the lift on its wing while the up-going aileron reduces the lift on its wing, producing a rolling moment about the aircraft's longitudinal axis. Ailerons are usually situated near the wing tip, but may sometimes be situated nearer the wing root. The terms "outboard aileron" and "inboard aileron" are used to describe these positions respectively. The word aileron is French for "little wing".
So why do I introduce my headbangers presentation for the theme of "feathers" which Gail has given us this week? The other day on a science program on the radio they were discussing the function and history of feathers, and particularly wing feathers. And wing feathers serve individually as ailerons on a wing which also serves as an aileron. The bird has muscle control of each feather, able to turn each one as needed to sustain flight.
|shed wing feather |
|"Look sweetie! Over here! Aren't I beautiful?"|
But why can't the girls be gorgeous as well? Sheer practicality! While the males are off strutting their stuff, the female is generally left to sit on the nest and keep those babies warm. Their feather coat is designed to blend in to the environment where they are nesting so that they don't attract predators.
(My British friends please forgive me as I can't help thinking of the American Revolution where the local militia wore drab homespun garments whild the British soldiers made targets of themselves in bright red uniform coats.)
So once again I have to make a choice for my header: Will it be the the practical?
or the showy?
This week marks Gail's swan song with the Headbangers as she leaves us because of time constraints from other activities.
That leaves an opening for another budding photographer to join us. Headbangers are linked on my sidebar. Visit them this week to see what they did with last week's Through a Window, and starting Wednesday, "Feathers!" Contact one of us if you would like to play along.