Passenger Jets may get stealth from study of owls

By | April 27, 2009

Noisy aircrafts may soon be turned into havens of tranquillity, courtesy owls.

European plane manufacturer Airbus is performing studies on the night birds to determine how they manage to swoop silently on unsuspecting prey.

What they have found so far is that owls are so quiet because they manipulate airflow by their angle of approach and through the special arrangement of feathers on their legs.

The researchers hope to incorporate such findings into their designs.

Airbus, which makes the A380 ‘superjumbo’ jet, is working on modifications to its landing gear that will mimic the birds.

It believes this could reduce dramatically noise levels on future generations of its aircraft.

Airbus has conducted the research on different types of owls in collaboration with Southampton University’s Airbus Noise Technology Centre.

Models of the birds in flight are made on computers and then refined in wind tunnels.

“The technology we use is like SDHp accelerated evolution,” the Daily Express quoted Doctor Kenji Takeda, one of the senior ¬engin¬eering scientists on the project, as saying.

As part of the cutting-edge research, landing gear structure is moulded so that it has a surface, which imitates some of the peculiar features of owls’ legs.

The innovations have been fed into a European-funded aircraft ¬research programme called Silencer.

via CafeTerra: Noisy aircrafts may soon be turned into havens of tranquillity, courtesy owls.

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