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Formation flight of birds improves aerodynamic efficiency.
Theoretically, 25 birds could have a range increase of about 70 percent
as compared with a lone bird, the advantage being more pronounced when
there is a tail wind. A vee formation is required to equally distribute
the drag saving, and, contrary to other statements, the lead bird does
not necessarily have the most strenuous position. The angle of the
predicted vee compares with that observed in nature; stability
mechanisms are described which make it easy and natural for the bird to
sense optimal formations.