Small villi on the owl feathers allow the bird to fly silently. This same feature can be used in the design of aircraft to reduce the noise level during flights.
In a new study, a team of scientists collected detailed data on a 3D image of owl feathers. The results show that owls have nano-feathers in their wings that work almost like ribs: they can control the flow of air near the windwall and keep it longer and more stable, avoiding turbulence.
Scientists have transferred all the data on nanofibers into a digital model and studied their aerodynamic properties under various conditions. The results of the work confirmed that these small protrusions have a serious aerodynamic function: they control airflows according to its direction and use them with maximum efficiency for flight.
This stabilizes the flow around the wing with a swept profile in birds: this usually happens when the bird is hovering.
The team plans to use their knowledge to design aeronautical vessels. Their developments will help to more efficiently use wind energy and reduce flight noise.