Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 385 Ton Bird


For professor Shaker Meguid the process of flight is quite simple. Watch how the professionals do it. Meguid, a mechanical engineer, is in the process of creating an aircraft that actually mimics the flight patterns of the original professionals of flight, birds. He has been observing and studying the flight of many species of birds to determine what actually make these creatures so efficient at soaring through the air.Meguid focused his research on the common swift bird (apus apus) who have incredible deftness in the air. He has found that birds fully extend their wings when in a relaxed soaring stage but bring their wings in when they plumit to catch prey or land. As of right now our aircraft have small flaps on their wings to attempt to simulate wing "morphing" but Meguid wants to increase the power of these simulations with the use of cutting edge materials. Using an alloy, that when heated above a certain temperature can contract, and a material called piezoelectrics that contract when a level of energy is applied to them, he plans to create flawless wing "morphing" on planes. This morphing will create planes that are more efficient in the air and more dangerous on the battlefield. Although these wings will not have the full capabilities as birds do, it is the closest we as humans can simulate their unparalleled abilities in the air on a structure thousands of times the size of them.

Patrick Salome

10 Comments:

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Jen Kodela said...

Has there been any attempt at a model yet, or is he still trying to create it? Has there been other people that have attempted to engineer a plane like this?

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really neat. To what extent will the plane wings "morph"?

-Cecelia Hunt

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting, thoughi thought a major part of birds flight is their light weight, are they going to try to decrease the weight as well, or just work on the wings as a starting point?

Erica Damon

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so cool how we take biology and put it to use in other fields! Has he gotten far with this idea yet, as in starting to build one? I'm sure it will take a while for people flying them to get the feeling of it. How long to do think it will be before we see this come to life? I wonder how the wings actually work and change...

-Alyson Paige

 
At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I wonder if he was to succesfully build one, how receptive people will be, especially when airlines are not "making" money. Did the article mention anything about if it would increase the mpg rating, making it a better alternative to the big gas guzzling planes? It would be very interesting to see a picture of what he is thinking of for the design.

Katie Cole

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, i am just wondering if weight will be a particular problem in the making the wings.

Amanda Joyce

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This would be interesting, but I am still a bit confused. This might be a dumb question, but what more do they want planes to be able to do? Will this increase their speed or something? I just don't understand what the benefit is of making a plane more like a bird because I feel like they already serve their purpose.

Chantal Gomes

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The flaps that are currently on planes changing the wing's structure so the plane can slow down seem rather out of date now that I think about it. What would be the benefits of upgrading that part of the plane? Leonardo Da Vinci and other early inventive minds looked at birds as guides to mastering flight.

Jordan Grinstein

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting article, I believe that it is a very difficult task for professor Meguid to try to create an exact replica of the flight form of birds on something that is more solid such as a plane. As you said “these wings will not have the full capabilities as birds do,..” and one of that reason might be because of the flexibility of the birds wings when compare to a fixed plain wings. But as the saying goes ‘sky is the limit’ right? It would be interesting to see how far Professor Meguid could go.

Tenzing Y. Dundutsang

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger PWH said...

The Materials used to create this morphing effect will indeed lower the total weight of the plane. The material is far less dense than the materials used currently. These materials will be able to "morph" in the sense that the materials can contract. From what I understand a model is in the process of being made. It is a pretty unique Idea, but physically everything seems like it would work. The reason for even doing this is to increase planes mobility in the air. It can increase velocity as well as allow the plane to make sharper turns, faster dives and shortened landings as well as making the planes much more fuel efficient. As an example think of any type of bird soaring in the air and then tucking their wings to dive, or rotating them to slow down. There are a lot of things birds can do that planes cannot just simply due to their wing structure.

Patrick Salome

 

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