Aerodynamics

  • Wind turbines, helicopters, and other devices that use rotors have a big noise problem, but the solution may come from the wings of the owl, which allows the nocturnal hunting bird to fly almost silently and may lead to quieter wind turbines, aircraft, and drones.
  • ​The aerodynamics of mosquito flight have long been a mystery to scientists. Now high speed cameras​ have revealed their unusual flight behaviors, uncovering two new aerodynamic mechanisms unseen in any other insects.
  • Researchers in Sweden are developing a device that increases the fuel efficiency of trucks by cloaking them in electric wind. Using plasma actuators to charge the air, the new technology controls the flow of wind around the truck to reduce drag and could improve fuel consumption by five percent.
  • Volvo's SuperTruck concept has been designed to address fuel economy and emissions issues, which has been fitted with a prototype hybrid powertrain. Fuel consumption is reduced by 5 to 10 percent by allowing the diesel engine to shut off up to 30 percent of the time.
  • Aero wheels are excellent at cutting down on drag in a straight line, but they can be tricky to handle in a crosswind. Zipp's new 454 NSW Carbon Clincher has been designed with efficiency in mind, using shapes from nature for less aerodynamic drag and buffeting than regular aero wheels.
  • Aerovelo has set a new human-powered speed record using its specially designed aero bike. Running at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, the egg-shaped Aerovelo Eta managed to hit 89.59 mph. ​​
  • In spite of the changes going on in the automotive world, our love for big rear wings has largely remained constant. But there is another avenue to downforce. Ground effects became a fixture of Formula 1 before they were banned in 1982. Now they're back, stuck to the bottom of the Ariel Aero-P.​​
  • 3D-printed electrical engines and adaptive wings are among the five technological concepts selected for NASA's Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project this year, which will now undergo a two-year study with a view to reducing aircraft fuel and emissions.
  • ​As any good aeronautical engineer will tell you, the more streamlined an airplane is, the less fuel it uses. That's why a recent Aerospace Engineering grad from the University of Texas at Arlington has created a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that turns by shifting weights within its wings.
  • The Grand Prix Commission delivered its final verdict on the use of aerodynamic wings, banning them from all racing classes from 2017 onwards. Citing safety concerns, the ruling followed the manufacturers’ failure to reach a unanimous agreement, and sparked complaints from Ducati.
  • When it comes to animal-inspired inventions, it seems like geckos get all the attention from scientists and engineers these days. But researchers at Sweedens' Lund University have turned their observations to the long-eared brown bat and what they've discovered just might help improve drone design.
  • Last year, SpeedX introduced the SpeedForce, a gadget that combines a computer, handlebar stem and headlight all in one device. Now, with the announcement of the Leopard, the company has added one more thing to that combo – a carbon fiber aero road bike.​