Imagine a plane able to travel immense distances with no propulsion save the power of the wind. Such a capability, though unfathomable to most humans, has already been realized by the natural world in the unique capabilities of the Wandering Albatross. Without even flapping their wings, Wandering Albatross can travel 500-600 miles in a single day, fly the equivalent of eighteen round trips to the moon and back in a lifetime, and maintain speeds higher than 127 km/h for more than eight hours, all, achieved through the distinct skill of dynamic soaring.
Researchers have spent hundreds of hours studying the mechanics of dynamic soaring, but only recently did they discover its intricacies. Scientists already understood that an elbow-lock system allowed the albatross to keep its wings open at no energy cost. Though, researchers have now brought to light the method by which the wandering albatross uses dynamic soaring to fly great distances without flapping their wings.