star wars
Star Wars’ Ships Have Terrible Aerodynamic Designs

When you’re flying around in space, where there’s no air or wind resistance, aerodynamics aren’t important. That’s why the Star Trek Borg ship is just a giant cube and still works just fine. But when ships are also visiting planets with atmospheres, aerodynamics do come into play — and apparently neither the Rebels nor the Empire in Star Wars know the first thing about properly designing flying vehicles. Read More >>

giz asks
Are Capes Aerodynamic?

Not all superheroes wear capes, but many do, and it’s a long-established fact that these capes are crucial when it comes to flying around town to fight crime and brood and whatnot. And yet the people still don’t know, with anything approaching certainty, how exactly capes facilitate this process (at least, the capes that aren’t themselves imbued with the power of flight). Read More >>

science
This is How You Fold a Record-Breaking Paper Aeroplane

In 2012, designer John Collins constructed a paper aeroplane that flew an astonishing 226 feet, establishing a distance record that still stands. A new video demonstrates the steps required to fold your own version of this record-setting paper-based aircraft. Read More >>

nasa
NASA’s Supercomputers Reveal the Incredible Turbulence Produced By a Drone

If you’ve ever been blasted by the downwash of a drone when it flies over you, you know how much air four spinning rotors can move. But to help improve the design and flight characteristics of future drones, NASA had its supercomputers simulate what that air movement actually looks like, and it’s impossibly complex. Read More >>

science
How Migrating Birds Can Soar To Such Great Heights

Migratory birds can glide over very long distances with minimal wing-flapping, thanks to their strategic use of rising warm air currents. A new study has found that the birds use two basic sensory cues, combined with reinforcement learning algorithms (RLA), to navigate this turbulent environment. Read More >>

science
Tiny Dancing Spider Crickets Could Lead to Better Robotics

Spider crickets are masters of aerodynamics. They don’t have wings, but they can jump up to 60 times their body length — equivalent to a human track star jumping the length of a football field. Now a team of engineering students at Johns Hopkins University has videotaped the critters in slow motion and discovered some of their aerodynamic secrets. Read More >>

research
Simple Fins on Tyres Could Improve Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Slapping a giant fin on the back of your hand-me-down Corolla isn’t going to make it go any faster. But researchers at Yokohama have found that adding a series of angled fins to a tyre can actually help improve a vehicle’s aerodynamics, which in turn means better fuel efficiency and fewer stops at the pumps. Read More >>

science
This Weird Morphing Skin Could Make Future Vehicles Super Aerodynamic

This strangely alive-looking blob isn't a prop from a sci-fi movie. It's a smorph, a morphing material that could make the cars, trains and aeroplanes of tomorrow extremely aerodynamic, using the same trick that helps golf balls fly faster and straighter. Read More >>

bicycles
The World’s Most Aerodynamic Triathlon Bike Even Has Streamlined Snack Storage

Often in athletic competitions an athletes biggest advantage comes from their gear. So if you're a cyclist after a first place finish, Cervélo's P5 triathlon/time trial bike has been designed and engineered to be the most aerodynamic ride on two wheels. Read More >>