Pushing air out of the way is a major factor in vehicle fuel consumption, which is why the word “aerodynamics” is so heavily discussed around car or plane designs. But it’s not just cars and planes. The indentations on a golf ball help it fly through the air faster than a ping-pong ball which isn’t expected to travel the length of a fairway. Footballs are designed for air while soccer balls aren’t. Lately, aerodynamic design in the form of low-profile, sleek little machines have been all the rage among fuel-efficient car designs.
At Aptera motors they’ve designed a car that’s more like a bird. It has “gullwing” doors, all the better for getting in and out of it in a tight squeeze. It’s curvy, fluid exterior form is reminiscent of science fiction spacecraft designs. It only has three wheels but they want you to know it is much like a minivan in that it has cup-holders and can commute in the HOV lane, if you so dare. At the same time, aerodynamic design isn’t just something new and funky. The Ford Motor Company has been experimenting with aerodynamics for some time and now in the digital age they’re applying pressure sensitive paint and monitoring their designs in a computerized wind tunnel.
While Aptera is inspired by birds in flight, a German aircraft company is using the tuna fish as inspiration for aerodynamically designed planes. Just as the tuna was “designed” to glide effortlessly through the water and into tuna fishermen’s nets, the Smartfish aircraft should glide effortlessly through the air, with more fuel-efficiently, less noise and more cargo space. Also in the fish inspired category is Acabion car that looks like a dolphin. It is more fuel efficient than a Prius and go 324 miles and hour. Now about that speeding ticket…
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