Officially unveiled at this week’s Royal International Air Tattoo air show in the UK, the Airbus “Bird of Prey” is essentially a hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller aircraft for regional air transportation. The aircraft is inspired by efficient mechanics of eagles, with wing and tail structures that mimic those of a bird of prey, while featuring individually controlled feathers that provide active flight control. This futuristic concept is backed by the GREAT Britain campaign, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Air League, the Institution of Engineering and the Technology and Aerospace Technology Institute. Read more for a video and additional information.
The ‘#BirdOfPrey’ is taking wing! This sleek new concept takes inspiration from eagles to create a hybrid-electric design with individually controlled feathered wings. We’re always looking for pioneering new ideas – what would your aircraft be inspired by? https://t.co/HOfecb8X06 pic.twitter.com/0zXOr5znJv
— Airbus (@Airbus) July 19, 2019
While not intended to be an actual aircraft, this concept is based on realistic ideas, while providing an insight into what a future regional aircraft could look like. There’s a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that mirrors the graceful and aerodynamic arch of an eagle or falcon, representing the potential of biomimicry inspired by nature.
“One of the priorities for the entire industry is how to make aviation more sustainable – making flying cleaner, greener and quieter than ever before. 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,” said Martin Aston, Senior Manager at Airbus.