Airbus Shows a Hybrid Passenger Airplane that Looks like a Bird

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Airplane wing - taken in flight
Image by Chris Horvath from Pixabay

Modern airplanes are becoming safer every year, but there are still worries about their carbon impact. Also, I think we can agree that planes start to look increasingly like each other – can you really tell the make and model from afar?

Airbus, one of the largest and most advanced aerospace companies, will try to change that with their new airplane that they call the “Bird of Prey.” The company presented the concept plane at the “Royal International Air Tattoo” air show in the UK.

What immediately stands out from the photo of the airplane is how organic it looks. The designers from the aerospace giant took inspiration from nature when drawing the body, more precisely from predator birds. In my eyes, the airplane looks decidedly futuristic, but I’ll leave the final evaluation to you.

In their press release, Airbus said that the plane “includes a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that mirrors the graceful and aerodynamic arch of an eagle or falcon, representing the potential of biomimicry.”

Apart from the attractive design, the “Bird of Prey” features an advanced hybrid-electric propulsion system that flies using turbo propellers. According to the company, using hybrid technology, the aerospace industry can cut carbon emissions by half by 2050.

Sadly, the “Bird of Prey” airplane won’t grace our sky anytime soon. Airbus only used this plane to give inspiration to young people and make aviation more sustainable.

“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,” explained Martin Aston, a senior manager at Airbus, in a press release from the company.

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?”

Bianca Van der Watt

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