Mexican long-nosed bat The Office of Scientific Research of the U.S. Air Force is studying bats...
bats and birds and insects that can fly in all kinds of wind and weather and
still maintain their balance, agility, and adaptability. Why? To mimic the
characteristics of these supreme fliers in new unmanned aerial vehicles
Surprisingly, the micro-UAVs developed to date have not been designed
incorporating the mechanical properties of natural flyers. But Kenny Breuer a
fluid mechanics professor from Brown University,
and Wei Shyy, an aerospace engineer from the University
of Michigan, are working on
projects to change that.
Bats, the only mammals that can fly, have fluid wings that are nearly as dexterous as
human hands. They are also able to withstand very strong wind gusts. The research teams are studying these two areas in particular.
Both teams have developed preliminary models based on what they have learned
so far from studying bats in flight. Wing flexibility will be a key component of
the future UAV's. I can't wait to see the new UAVs in flight! How about you?
World Tribune, Defenders of Wildlife (images: Defenders of Wildlife)