While birds have always been the main inspiration behind airplanes, the two flying objects share very little in common. While essential for real birds, the design of wings and weathers are impractical and may even be dangerous for planes. That’s not stopping some from designing concepts that could eventually become reality. Such may be Airbus’ “Bird of Prey” that takes imitation to new heights, pun totally intended.
A plane’s wings and tail may be segmented in some parts but, as a whole, they’re single pieces of metal that keep the plane afloat in the skies. The age-old design of planes hasn’t seen much change over the decades but Airbus’s new concept design takes biomimicry’s potential quite seriously.
The structure of the plane resembles a bird of prey, hence the name, and the outermost “feathers” are supposed to be individually controlled. The wing-to-fuselage design also mimics the graceful aerodynamic of eagle or falcon wings.
That’s not the only revolutionary idea behind the Airbus airliner concept. Designed for sustainability, the Bird of Prey is envisioned to be powered by a hybrid-electric turbo propulsion system for cleaner and greener transportation.
Of course, as a concept, the Airbus “Bird of Prey” may never see the light of day or, the very least, could take decades before it becomes reality. The concept is meant more to create a “wow” factor among young people and aspiring designers and engineers. With a new trend in biomimicry, it could be just a matter of time before someone breaks the code that will allow such designs to applied in real-world vehicles as well.