Mindblowing: "Parahawking" uses trained hawk to help paragliders find thermals

This is new to me and kinda amazing. The paraglider pilots train hawks to find thermals for them, then reward them with food. It's called "parahawking".

 

You know what would be better than a hawk? A little UAV programmed to do the same thing. They don't need little bits of meat all the time. Just saying....

Views: 607

Comment by Rowland on August 1, 2011 at 1:50pm

Soaring can be done by a UAV - automatically.  We have partial ability in that area right now.  I would prefer th hawk though.  This is so cool Bob and Kevin very well trained.

Comment by Ryan on August 1, 2011 at 1:59pm

Badass!

 

Comment by Kartik Jangam on August 1, 2011 at 2:40pm

You wouldn't need bits of meat, you'll need a bag full of LiPos... ;)

Comment by Garry Qualls on August 1, 2011 at 8:28pm

Well, if we combine autonomous dynamic soaring with some automated slope soaring and the ability to snatch a fish off of the surface a few times a day and cook it down for oil to power the motor...you could pretty much fly forever (or until you had a mechanical failure).   This has been a very-long-term goal of mine for a while...

Albatrosses can do this with a 3 meter wingspan and mass of about 9 kg.  The internet tells me that, "Adults have been recorded flying up to 550 miles per day at speeds of 50 mph, and in a single foraging flight they can cover an incredible 1800 to 9300 miles, a distance greater than the diameter of the earth."  

Fish oil must be wonderful stuff!  Competing for "food" with real, endangered, albatrosses might create some moral issues, but I figured I would deal with those once I had a plane in the air that could spearfish reliably. ;-)

 


Developer
Comment by Jani Hirvinen on August 2, 2011 at 2:13am

My glider friend back in Finland was once "saved" by Hawk. When he was flying and starting to get back home thermals started to die and there was huge swamp area between him and the airport. All gliders/sailplane pilots knows that it's dooms day are to go over that swamp if you are on low altitude.

 

While he tried to get last lifts from thermals he looked suitable landing area on close by farm fields and was thinking that oh boy this will be long walk.. Eagle/Hawk came to fly next to his wing tip and looked my friend that "Dude you are in serious trouble, i can help you.... Follow me"

 

After that bird came back to pick him up he figured that ok this bird actually want to help so let's follow it.. They passed 10km swamp area easily. Hawk watched few times back like. Doh slow dude... Come on.. On other side of the swamp he looked his alt meter and they gained almost 300 meters on the way.

 

Hawk/Eagles can see those thermals so if you fly what ever glider... Stick on their tails.. :)


100KM
Comment by u4eake on August 7, 2011 at 6:53am
Now the hawks know what air refueling feels like :-)

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