Design Fridays: Mimicking Nature
December 3, 2010
Two researchers, from South Africa and California, have designed what they think will be a more aerodynamically efficient plane. Saving fuel might not be on the priority list for the military's fastest fighter jets, but it is important to long range, endurance vehicles and especially to commercial aviation. The designers, Huyssen and Spedding, believe the crooked wings and shortened tail will decrease the amount of drag the aircraft experiences thereby reducing its fuel consumption.
These design changes make it look more like a bird than your typical fixed-wing aircraft. Just in time for a non-flying bird-centric holiday. Even the designers don't know yet how much of an effect this will have or how practical it will be. But we might see some elements incorporated into other designs rolling out in the next decade or so. I can't wait for the Turkey plane in a year from now. Gobble gobble.