Old whooping cranes keep the young ones on course, study shows

Publication:   Date: NBC News   View Article

When endangered whooping cranes fly their routes to summer breeding grounds, the old birds play a crucial role in showing the young birds where to go.

“This learning takes place over many years,” Thomas Mueller, an expert on animal migration at the University of Maryland and lead author of a study on the cranes’ migration habits, told NBC News. “It is a long-term process.”

Before dinosaurs could fly, some had flight-ready brains

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 31, 2013   View Article

Dinosaurs evolved the brain power necessary for flight well before they took to the air as birds, according to a new study. The finding suggests that Archaeopteryx, often considered a transitional species between dinosaurs and living birds, wasn’t all that special.

“The same neurological capacity that Archaeopteryx has is also in these other non-avian dinosaurs,” Amy Balanoff, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the study’s lead author, told NBC News.

An electric plane you can (almost) buy

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 29, 2011   View Article

A single-passenger electric airplane that you can (almost) buy is waiting for its day in the sun at an air show in Wisconsin where it hopes to showcase the future of zero-emissions aviation.

Torrential rains at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh earlier this week has created a backlog of flights, delaying a demonstration of the Elektra One, officials said.

The reality of flying cars

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: November 13, 2009   View Article

From Santa Claus’ sleigh to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, flying contraptions with the convenience of the personal automobile have long filled our fantasies, according John Brown, editor of RoadableTimes.com, a Web database of flying cars. That fantasy, he predicted, will become a reality in the form of an “everyday practical flying car” within the next five years.

Seven icons of science at the Smithsonian

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: May 22, 2009   View Article

In “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” Ben Stiller returns to the movie screen as security guard Larry Daley for another adventure among animated artifacts and historical figures. The museum and research complex houses more than 136 million objects, works of art and specimens. Check out seven iconic items from the museum’s science collections, including a few that come to life under Daley’s watch.

Tiny Radio Tags Offer Rare Glimpse into Bees’ Universe

Publication: National Geographic magazine   Date: November 14, 2008   View Article

A National Geographic grantee is pioneering the use of supersmall radio tracking tags that fit on the backs of bees, a technological breakthrough that may provide him and other scientists with a direct view of the pollinators’ flight patterns.

“Smart Plane” Technology Could Help Damaged Craft Fly Right

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 23, 2007   View Article

Airplane technology under development at NASA could bring a whole new meaning to the term “autopilot.”

Called the Intelligent Flight Control System, the futuristic software is meant to help keep damaged planes flying right even in the face of catastrophic failure.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach