Nature has been compared to the greatest human designers of all time. She has developed wondrous creations that amaze and leave us spellbound. In the news this month are two human creations that have copied natural form for a very practical human consideration. That consideration is gas mileage.
First there is the Mercedes Benz Fish Car. In its pursuit of greater efficiency, Mercedes has developed a prototype that is designed after the Ostracion cubicus; a small fish that lives in the Indian Ocean. The human designers looked to fish to find an aerodynamic model that could reduce drag and increase mpg. The result is a concept car that gets performance of 0 to 60mph in 8.2 seconds out of a 1.9-liter four-cylinder direct-injection turbo-diesel. And it does this while getting 72 mpg.
The second creation is a tailless bat winged creation, the SAX-40. As reported in PRAVDA, this aircraft is designed to cut fuel consumption by at least 30% over the most fuel efficient commercial aircraft. Remarkably this aircraft went from concept to prototype in the unbelievably short span of three years. Developed by researchers from Cambridge University and MIT, this aircraft was designed with the assistance of super computers. Rather than the trial and error development that we anticipate, the craft was developed with new techniques of computer modeling. In comparison the giant double-decker Airbus A380 took 13 years to develop. Noise pollution will be another benefit of the new design. It is estimated that the craft at top speed will make no more noise than a washing machine