Aerodynamics of perching birds could inform aircraft design

If you have ever watched a bird land on a tree branch, you may have noticed that it rapidly pitches its wings upward at a high angle to execute a smooth landing. However, for some birds, they land by folding their wings as ...

Bat-flight inspires unique design for micro air vehicles

Researchers from the University of Southampton have designed innovative membrane wings inspired by bats, paving the way for a new breed of unmanned Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) that have improved aerodynamic properties, can ...

Physics instructor writes book on shock waves

A sonic boom and a thunderclap may seem like different phenomena, but their behavior is the same, according to SDState Physics Instructor W. Robert Matson. This is one of the ways he explains shock waves in "Sonic Thunder," ...

Morphing is one way to make aircraft more efficient

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be a six-fold increase in the number of flights there are today. This is going to be an environmental problem, and it will need radical change in aircraft design to deal with it.

Test of Futuristic X-48C is Historic Wind Tunnel's Swan Song

( -- A historic wind tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., has been pressed into service one last time to help test the prototype of a new, more fuel-efficient, quieter aircraft design.

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