Airbus envisions an electric aircraft with feathered bird-like wings
In a world full of concept cars and SUVs, be AIRBUS and design a full concept next generation airplane. Yes, airplane manufacturer AIRBUS has unveiled its new concept airplane at Royal International Air Tattoo Air Show and gave it the coolest name anyone could give, “Bird of Prey”. Yes, the bird of prey. It’s not just metaphorical term like companies refer to their products but the bird of prey actually looks like a bird. Even the wings are feathered which is the coolest and most interesting looking feature of this bird.
The design features multiple propellers and rudder branded with onion jack. The design of the Bird of Prey makes it obvious that the AIRBUS designers were thinking about birds the whole time they formulated it. The major priority behind designing something like the bird of prey is the goal of reduction in fuel consumption which can be made to reach up to 30-40 percent if the currently under development technology comes to existence. Martin Aston, a senior manager at Airbus said in a statement, “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. Who can’t help but be inspired by such a creation?”
The inspiration behind such an idea is truly marvelous and environmental friendly but the question remains, is it that easy to mimic nature to make something as big as an airplane and lift it up using just batteries? To deploy hybrid tech and batteries in order to lift a plane up is tough task and the amount of batteries required for that could cost up to millions of dollars.
The amount of energy required to perform a lift is huge and using the battery weight equivalent of jet fuel give about 43 times more energy. The idea is certainly intriguing and a lot of companies must have thought of this would this ever come into existence? The question remains.
All images: Airbus
h/t: Design Boom