A Bit about the Author
I have never been to the southern oceans or seen an albatross that wasn’t stuffed in a museum.
I am not a professional scientist, I am a retired professional pilot with a lifelong fascination with bird flight of which dynamic soaring is a part and flapping flight is another (don’t get me started on that).
What I am bringing to this subject is over 40 years and 16000 hours of flying experience on over 30 different types, including gliders. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing good ever comes from a wind gradient or a wind shear. (Although it turns out that is not exactly the case for the albatross). During 13 years of flying instructing I had to teach new pilots how to handle the weather in general and wind gradients in particular, so I know how counter- intuitive wind gradients can be. Because of that I know that a purely theoretical approach to flying does not always provide the complete answer and that you have to experience wind shear at the controls of an aircraft to understand the logical steps to explain it.
Flight of Birds... Rayleigh 1883
Mechanics of Flight... AC Kermode 1972
Avian Flight... J J Videler 2010
Natures Flyers... D E Alexander 2002
Birdflight…Otto Lilienthal trans Markowski 1889
Birds in Flight... C L Henderson 2008
Gust Soaring…. CJ Pennycuick 2002
Minimum shear wind strength….G Sachs 2005
In-Flight Measurement of Dynamic Soaring in Albatross…G Sachs et al 2010
Experimental verification of dynamic soaring in albatrosses G. Sachs et al 2013
Albatrosses...WLN Tickell 2000
Manual of Ornithology... NS Proctor PJ Lynch 1993
Ornithology... FB Gill 2007
Eye of the Albatross... C Safina 2002
Birdflight... G Ruppell 1975
Modelling the Flying Bird... CJ Penycuick 2008