This New Jet Concept Flaps Its Wings Like a Bird to Fly More Efficiently
This experimental aircraft design would mean a larger wingspan and greater fuel efficiency for future aircraft, Via Robb Report
A team from Airbus last week used a mythical seabird to prove that wing design could be significantly more efficient, and potentially allow future aircraft to have much longer wings and lower fuel use. The AlbatrossONE demonstrator successfully passed “gate-to-gate” tests around a hangar and runway, showing that freely flapping wings can alleviate wing loads and avoid tip stalling for improved performance.
The design team used the albatross’s wings—which are capable of reacting to wind gusts by flexing—as inspiration for their new model. “The albatross’ wing-tips are actually somewhat analogous to semi-aeroelastic hinged wing-tips,” project leader Tom Wilson said after the successful flight. “The albatross can ‘lock’ its wings at the shoulder to travel long distances, but when faced with wind gusts, it can ‘unlock’ its shoulder to better navigate wind speeds.”
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