Editorial: Nature-inspired flight - beyond the leap

D. Lentink, A.A. Biewener

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademic

31 Citations (Scopus)


Whereas humans can outrun horses over large distances (BBC News 2004), because of their adaptation for endurance (Bramble and Lieberman 2004), their swimming performance is mediocre compared to that of tuna and sailfish, and flight is impossible. No wonder that the flight of animals and plants such as birds, bats, insects and autorotating seeds has long since inspired mankind to invent its own flying machines. Just over 100 years old, human-designed aircraft have barely taken off on an evolutionary timescale. Recently engineers have stepped up by designing small unmanned air vehicles at the scale of flying animals and plant seeds that innovate by mimicking nature's successful design principles for highly maneuverable and efficient flight. Here we feature current biomechanics flight research and bioinspired design crème. By featuring the work in nine papers of both fields side-by-side, and motivating the authors to speculate how their work could inspire the other group, we hope to stimulate future interactions between these adjacent fields of research. Here, we provide an overview of the authors' research and designs accompanied by their perspectives on the value of their work for the adjacent field
Original languageEnglish
Article number040201
JournalBioinspiration & biomimetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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