Aviation

Airbus employs biomimicry in latest eco-conscious concept aircraft

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Airbus has made a bold statement on the future of the aviation industry with the release of its latest aircraft concept.

Airbus has marked its 50th anniversary as an aircraft manufacturer by unveiling a theoretical design for an aircraft conceptualised to address present problems facing the aviation industry – namely sustainability.

Inspired by bird biomechanics, the Airbus ‘Bird of Prey’ incorporates wing and tail structures that mimic those of a bird of prey, while featuring individually controlled feathers that provide active flight control – representing the potential of biomimicry in aircraft design.

“One of the priorities for the entire industry is how to make aviation more sustainable – making flying cleaner, greener and quieter than ever before,” Airbus senior manager Martin Aston said.

“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.”

Flying white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
The ‘Bird of Prey’ design incorporates a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that aims to mirror the aerodynamics of an eagle or falcon.

The A350 XWB is the first Airbus aircraft with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily from carbon fibre, which took inspiration further inspiration for its revolutionary adaptive wing design from birds.

With the unveiling of Airbus’ Bird of Prey design at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo air show in the UK, the manufacturer is looking to take inspiration from nature even further.

The design is not intended to represent an actual aircraft, moreover, the it was conceptualised to inspire young, aspiring 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.

“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,” Aston said.

“Who can’t help but be inspired by such a creation?”

Airlines as well as manufacturers have begun to take steps toward more sustainable means of air-transportation.

Opening a dialogue between airlines, KLM and its ‘Fly Repsonsibly’ campaign is encouraging airline solidarity to combat the issue of aircraft sustainability by urging airlines to join a corporate biofuel program.

The airline has also asked its customers to “make responsible decisions about flying” by considering catching the train, where applicable.


Travel Weekly’s upcoming event, Travel DAZE, will tackle the largest problem facing the travel industry in the modern era: sustainability.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown, and Gardening Australia host and Logie winner Costa Georgiadis will headline the event, and lead the way on short, sharp travel talks about how the industry can address the issue of sustainability in travel.

You can view the full list of speakers by clicking here.

Those who want to take advantage of the early bird price of just $295 per ticket before the Friday 26 July deadline can take a further 15 per cent off simply by applying the code 15OFF at checkout. Cash in on this fab deal HERE!

If you want to bring your pals along, we’ve also got a ‘buy two, get one free’ deal that is sure to elevate you to BFF status.

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