The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, Airbus, has unveiled a conceptual airline design inspired by the natural features of eagles, hawks, and other aerial predators.
Revealed at the Royal International Air Tattoo air show in the UK on Friday, the new ‘Bird of Prey’ concept airplane has a goal of motivating the next generation of aeronautical engineers, according to the company.
Birds have always been a common source of aeronautical inspiration. Inspired by the efficient mechanism of a bird, the theoretical design is a hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller aircraft for regional air transportation. The aircraft has a wing and tail structure that resemble those of a bird of prey. Interestingly, the new design has individually controlled feathers that provide active flight control.
Bird of Pay’s bronze-colored body looks more like a fish than anything else, while the addition of the tendril-tipped wings makes it look like a bird. New Bird of Prey aircraft will be capable of carrying around 80 passengers and could provide a 30-50 percent reduction in fuel burn compared to equivalent aircraft in operation today.
“Our ‘Bird of Prey’ is designed to be an inspiration to young people and create a ‘wow’ factor that will help them consider an exciting career in the crucially-important aerospace sector,” explained Martin Aston, a senior manager at Airbus.
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“One of the priorities for the entire industry is how to make aviation more sustainable – making flying cleaner, greener, and quieter than ever before. We know from our work on the A350 XWB passenger jet that through biomimicry, nature has some of the best lessons we can learn about design. Who can’t help but be inspired by such a creation?”
The company also hopes that this new project will make aviation more sustainable, with cleaner, greener, and quieter planes by taking design, structure, and system inspired by nature.