How Eagle’s winglets inspired more fuel efficient wing design. via Oliver Wyman Sustainability Blog
Nature has much to teach us about efficient use of energy. Take the bar tailed godwit, for example, which manages to fly, during his migration from Alaska to New Zealand, 10,000 km non-stop, in 10 days with a weight of 1kg. Engineers in various industries are turning to nature for inspiration as they try to design products with better performance and lower energy consumption.
For examples of what business can learn from nature, look no further than the aviation industry. For instance, the use of winglets modeled by the wings of steppe eagles contributes to the design of low-emission, high-performance aircrafts.
The wing tips of steppe eagles are an ideal shape to maximize lift with a minimal wingspan. The curvature at the end of the wing reduces drag. Engineers designing the A380 copied that design, resulting in fuel savings of up to 3%, depending on if it is a long or short distance flight.