Features that are worth copying and modelling

Have you ever looked up at the sky and seen the fascinating scene of a gaggle of wild geese flying overhead? Most of the time – like many migrating birds – they move in V formations of varying sizes. The movements within this flight formation are so harmoniously aligned with each other that you sometimes get the feeling that the configuration is a single entity. This special flight behaviour is not a playful variation of movement. It is more like applied technology and gaining an advantage through team work.

This special flight behaviour is not a playful variation of movement. It is more like applied technology and gaining an advantage through team work. The beat of each goose’s wings creates an updraft for the bird immediately behind it. This additional upwind, or the use of this aerodynamic trick, saves up to 70% of the energy needed for the whole gaggle compared to if each bird flew alone. If an individual bird leaves the formation it immediately feels the increased aerodynamic drag and with that the increased amount of energy it needs to fly. The bird then quickly returns to the formation to make use of the upwind created by the bird in front of it. If the goose at the tip of the V gets tired, it moves to the back of the line and one of the following birds will take its place up front.

During their flight, geese let out a special rhythmic honk which is what usually gets the attention of the observer on the ground. The honking actually encourages the team members at the front of the formation and it also regulates the pace, just like the coxswain on a rowing team.

Apart from all that, wild geese are amazing animals: They fly thousands of kilometres without taking a break, they cross over the highest mountains and the hottest desserts and arrive at their destination on the exact day they are expected. They are monogamous and stay with the same partner for life.

We have discovered more than one exciting parallel between our company and these fascinating animals. We admire their stability and the security that is brought about by working as a team as well as their navigational and orientation capabilities on long flights. We want to navigate unerringly through the enormous variety of products for our customers. We want to arrive at that exact objective: The optimal product solution for the customer.