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Aerospace Does this biomimesis use the organism as an actual model or just inspiration?

  1. Aug 23, 2011 #1
    This article* describes the innovation in aerodynamics of placing the tail at the front of the aircraft to resemble the crest of a pterosaur decreased such planes' turning radii. But I'm guessing there are some big divergences in the physics of the planes' and the pterosaurs' similar parts?

    *http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-pterosaur-inspired-aircraft-sharper.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2011 #2
    This kind of research is always interesting but it doesn't seem like that practical of a design to me. Moving the vertical stabilizer along the fuselage for directional stability reasons is a bad idea. First of all its going to take time to move the stabilizer so it isn't really something that could be quickly adjusted in order to react to an unexpected event, at some point the stabilizer will be in the middle of the aircraft where it will be useless, and it will shift the center of gravity so it will effect longitudinal stability. No to mention the extra weight it would add.

    Plenty of aircraft without this design are cable of entering a Dutch roll, which is generally something that is to be avoided. I don't know why they are mentioning it like it is some kind of unique capability.
     
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