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Nature Knows Best: Planes Inspired by Nature

22 minutes

Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

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It’s no secret that birds were the inspiration for the first airplanes, but in this episode, host Danni Washington takes a look at how exactly that connection succeeded. She’ll fly planes in tight formation to try to mimic the energy-efficient flight patterns of migrating birds, look at how engineers are inventing wings that change their shape while in flight, and even jump out of a perfectly good plane to test out an innovation based on the flying squirrel. Part of the "Nature Knows Best" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 22 minutes

Show's intro montage with Danni Washington in the middle, the show's title card, and an airplane overlayed in the back like it's coming into frame.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 1
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Two men wearing hard hats stand on a mechanical lift, coating a building's exterior in a layer of white paint. Protective plastic covers the glass doors, windows, and railings.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 2
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bird with white spots on its black wings perches on a tree. Overlaying this photo is a 2-D animation of a silhouetted swarm of flying birds and dozens of neon green dots.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 3
22 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bald man wearing a T-shirt on a boat in the sea looks over to the right.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 4
22 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Just below the surface of the water, a whale is in the process of rolling over itself on its side.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 5
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Danni Washington looks at us, standing in front of a green field, as the show's animated title emerges onto the screen.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 6
22 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Close-up of a golden dragonfly holding onto a stem amid a backdrop of green leaves.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 7
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Bearded man wears a metal apparatus strapped to his chest, gesturing with a gloved hand as he talks.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 8
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Microscopic imagery compares bacteria cells in neat rows on a sharklet surface versus clusters of bacteria cells on a standard surface starting to spread.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 9
22 minutes 2 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Danni Washington walks outside along a sunny, paved lot.
Nature Knows Best
Season 1 / Ep 10
22 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12