2000-10-24 – Bio-mimetics

Hey this is getting difficult…


Animals and (more so) birds use feathers as a way to adjust and minimise
the turbulence over the flight surfaces and control surfaces of their bodies.
This is how sharks can swim faster than boats and the Peregrine Falcon can swoop
at over 200 miles per hour (clocked in Russia at over 212mph!) which is faster
than a body that size (surface area) should be able to fall!

This is because they adjust the surfaces in a way that totally eludes man, cutting drag by
massive amounts. Recently, Speedo, the swimwear company, along with several
other companies, have marketed sharksuits, which mimic sharkskin. Aerospace companies are trying to copy this process for fighter planes and cargo lifters, hoping to shave a few fractions of a percent off the fuel usage. If you can develop a material to achieve this, you WILL be rich by Christmas! Think a type of moleskin which can be varied by the adjustment of electric field, magnetic field, or some form of pressure transducer. Think of a type of artificial hair. If you want to get really clever, try an artificial feather, with internal structure…

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