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Thread: Shark skin discovery opens new doors to ultrafast aeroplanes and drones

  1. #1

    Shark skin discovery opens new doors to ultrafast aeroplanes and drones

    Nature has always inspired engineers to overcome the hurdles of the human body, such as replicating bird flight to create the first aircraft. Now though, we are looking to more subtle aspects of evolution to bring us even greater capabilities.
    That is what a team of evolutionary biologists and engineers from Harvard University and the University of South Carolina has done through analysis of the scales of the fastest shark on Earth: the shortfin mako.

    In a paper published to the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team revealed how it solved a decades-old mystery by looking beyond simply focusing on the drag-reducing properties of the denticles (scales) like many teams had done before.
    Instead, the team asked whether the tooth-like scales could actually be more suited to creating lift.
    In the case of the shortfin mako, its denticles have three raised ridges like a trident, so, using micro-CT scanning, the researchers imaged and modelled the denticles in three dimensions.
    Next, the team 3D-printed the shapes on the surface of a wing with a curved aerodynamic cross-section, known as an airfoil.

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  3. #2
    "Dimpled Golf Balls can fly twice as far as they would if they were smooth".

    That always made me wonder why the wings of aircraft were not designed to be dimpled...

    Shark Skin seems to be another way of asking the same question...
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  4. #3
    Prove it on indycars!

    why I should worship the state (who apparently is the only party that can possess guns without question).
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  5. #4

    The bulk of aircraft research as far as the "skin" of the plane is usually more centered on heat as that's one of the biggest obstacles in faster aircraft as the drag creates friction which increases as speed does. I'm curious to see how much more air speed is opened up to aircraft if this pans out.
    "Self conquest is the greatest of all victories." - Plato

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