Long before we had cars we had horse drawn carriages. Doesn’t this mean that we should also have had bird drawn planes? How many pigeons would it take to carry a 747?
According to Wikipedia, the Boeing 747 has a maximum take-off weight of 442,000 kg (~975,000 lbs). Since birds build nests, we know that a pigeon is strong enough to carry a twig. Wood densities vary, but they’re roughly about 500 kg/m3. This means that a 5 mm thick 10 cm long twig would weigh about 1.3 g. From this we can compute the number of pigeons needed to carry a 747.
# of birds = (mass to be carried) / (mass carried per bird)
= (442,000 kg) / (1.3 g per bird)
= 3.4×108 birds
It would take about 340 million pigeons. This is much more than we could realistically harness to a plane, which is probably good given what pigeons typically do to your car.
Check in tomorrow to find out who won the Mario Estimation Contest.