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Owl Feathers to Reduce Aircraft Noise?

Eleanor Hubble
20 November 2020

Owl

The structure of owl feathers is being studied for its potential impact on laminar wing design.

A study led by Professor Christoph Bruecker at City, University of London along with Professor Hermann Wagner of RWTH Aachen University in Germany, concentrated on the 3D geometry data of typical owl feather using high-resolution micro-CT scans.

The results show that the structures of the feathers work when arrays of finlets turn the flow direction near the aerodynamic wall. This maintains the flow for longer and with greater stability, avoiding turbulence.

The flow studies were undertaken using a water tunnel, and Bruecker is said to have proved the flow turning hypothesis in experiments with an enlarged finlet model.

The team now plan to use a technical realisation of a swept wing aerofoil pattern in an anechoic wind tunnel for more acoustic tests.

Read more here.

This story is adapted from an article in The Engineer, with editorial changes made by the METaL Project.