Airbus Bird of Prey
The Airbus Bird of Prey conceptual design

It’s a plane that looks like a bird. Airbus has ventured into designing an aircraft that very well resembles an eagle, a hawk or a falcon.

Complete with wings and tails that mimic those of a bird of prey, including individually controlled feathers that the aerospace firm says is meant to provide active flight control.

Nature’s inspiration has proved to be the stimulation for Airbus, with the company saying there is much to learn about power efficiency through mirroring the design of a bird of prey.

According to a statement appearing on the Airbus website, Martin Aston, a senior manager said, “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.”

The plane also features propellors on the front of the wings.

However, it will never take to the skies, being but just a conceptual design aimed at “motivating the next generation of aeronautical engineers.”

The aerospace company said that it wants to underscore how future aeronautical engineers 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.

The theoretical design was revealed at the Royal International Air Tattoo air show in the UK in July.

Airbus said that while not intended to represent an actual aircraft, the 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 firm said.

The design corresponds with the 50th anniversary of Airbus as an aircraft manufacturer. The conceptual design initiative 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.

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