They hope the cartoonish design will get kids excited about engineering.
Nature has long served as a source of inspiration for engineers — because living organisms have had countless years to evolve ideal solutions to the challenges of their environments, they're an excellent jumping-off point for designing machines to navigate those same environments.
Now, aeronautics company Airbus has unveiled a new aircraft design inspired by birds of prey, such as eagles and falcons — and it hopes the wild-looking concept will inspire today's youth to become the aerospace engineers of tomorrow.
The ‘#BirdOfPrey’ is taking wing! This sleek new concept takes inspiration from eagles to create a hybrid-electric design with individually controlled feathered wings. We’re always looking for pioneering new ideas – what would your aircraft be inspired by? https://t.co/HOfecb8X06 pic.twitter.com/0zXOr5znJv
— Airbus (@Airbus) July 19, 2019
It's a Bird, It's a Plane...
Airbus debuted its "Bird of Prey" aircraft at the recent Royal International Air Tattoo event in England, and it looks like something out of a cartoon.
Both the airplane's tail and its wings feature "feather-like" structures that Airbus said in a press release could be individually manipulated to "provide active flight control."
The plane's body is orange, while its wings are blue, white, and gold. Its tail, meanwhile, sports a Union Jack design — not exactly a cohesive color scheme, but definitely attention-grabbing.
Airbus doesn't plan to actually build the wild-looking airplane, but it does hope the craft will get young people thinking about the future of flight.
"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,” Martin Aston, a senior manager at Airbus, said in the press release, later adding, "Who can’t help but be inspired by such a creation?"
READ MORE: Airbus' Bird of Prey aircraft concept features feather-tipped wings [Dezeen]