June 17, 2011
It seems that the next generation airplanes will have a tail wing rudder at nose. Researchers at the Texas Tech University and University of Florida believe that the smaller aircrafts will fly more efficiently if they are designed with the vertical tail in front near the nose. This weird design is based on the cranial crest of the Pterosaur, a flying lizard found in the Jurassic Age. The research group comprising of Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University and Brian Roberts and Rick Lind from University of Florida recently published their study on this Pterosaur inspired airplane in the latest issue of Bioinspiration and Biomimetrics. These winged reptiles appeared first on the planet some 225 million years ago and became extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs some 65million years ago. There were many species of pterosaurs but each of them had this unique, prominent cranial crest on its forehead. Till now, the researchers believed that these crests helped the pterosaurs to remove the excess body heat. However, some aerodynamic simulations and structural analysis tests reveal that this crest actually was used for steering and changing direction during the flight.