Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has revealed an airliner concept design that bears a striking resemblance to a ‘bird of prey.”
The design aims to motivate the next generation of aeronautical engineers, according to Airbus. “The theoretical design is a hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller aircraft for regional air transportation,” it said in a statement. “Inspired by efficient mechanics of a bird, it has wing and tail structures that mimic those of a bird of prey, while featuring individually controlled feathers that provide active flight control.”
The design is not meant to look like an actual aircraft, according to Airbus, which says that the concept is based on realistic ideas. “It includes a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that mirrors the graceful and aerodynamic arch of an eagle or falcon,” the company explains. This, it adds, underscores the importance of biomimicry, where nature inspires the development of materials, structure and systems.
The concept design was launched at The Royal International Air Tattoo event at RAF Fairford in England.
Airbus has also looked to nature for inspiration for its A350 XWB family of passenger jets. “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,” it explained, in a statement. This includes, for example, an adaptive wing design inspired by birds.
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