• Question: Can you give me any examples of Biomimicry, specifically in Planes and Aeronatics? Thank you.

    Asked by jknight to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by ghenderson.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      I’ll give you two examples from the field. The first is a fun one – the ornithopter. It’s an old idea for an aircraft with flapping wings.

      The other is neural networks. They are being used in aerospace to predict when parts might wear out. You can look both of them up for more information.

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hello jknight! Drew’s got some cool examples. Here are some more: swim wear designed off of shark skin; artificial photosynthesis; and color changing displays (mimicking butterfly colors for example). I don’t know specifically of aeronautical examples. But if you are interesting in learning more in general, here’s a cool list of 15 examples: http://brainz.org/15-coolest-cases-biomimicry/

      There is also a whole biomimicry institute that looks pretty cool: http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi jknight!

      Scientists at Penn State University have developed wings which change shape depending on how fast a plane is travelling and how long it is travelling for. This should help to save fuel and decrease flight times for long distance flights! Neat huh??! 🙂