Airbus has unveiled a bird-like conceptual airliner design of hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller aircraft for regional air transportation.
The aim is also to motivate the next generation of aeronautical engineers, underscoring how they can make a difference by applying technologies researched at the company in hybrid-electric propulsion, active control systems and advanced composite structures.
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.
Biomimicry’s potential in aircraft design
While not intended to represent an actual aircraft, Airbus’ “Bird of Prey” is based on realistic ideas – providing an insight into what a future regional aircraft could look like.
It includes a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that mirrors the graceful and aerodynamic arch of an eagle or falcon, representing the potential of biomimicry (the design and production of materials, structures and systems inspired by nature).
“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.