The people designing tomorrow’s aircraft are turning to animals for inspiration.
In an effort to create a plane that would make no noticeable noise outside an airport, the Silent Aircraft Initiative is mimicking owls. The owl’s fringe-like feathers muffle the passing air as the bird swoops in for the kill — an age-old technology that could be Incorporated into planes of the future.
But it’s not just owls. For instance, NASA is also looking to birds, as they research planes that can shift the size and shape of their wings — creating a more efficient and versatile aircraft. NASA is also examining bats, and their ability to move more nimbly than man-made aircraft by sensing tiny changes in winds.
And yes, there’s even someone trying to create a machine that keeps itself in the air by flapping it’s wing. How completely and totally awesome.