Aircraft inspired by pterodactyl

 News 2008 09 29 Gallery Pterodactyl-540X380

This freaky pterodactyl's head crest is inspiring a novel aircraft design with a vertical fin on its head. Texas Tech University paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee and aerospace engineer Richard Lind of the University of Florida, are working on designs for small autonomous aircraft that use a head rudder to steer. From

The pterosaur's head crest is like having the tail at the front of the plane, Lind said. As the animal turned its head, it could execute drastic, sharp turns, making it incredibly agile.

"It's really good for turn radius and tracking prey while it flies," he said…

"…The military is interested in having aircraft that can fly down into cities between buildings, avoiding wires and stuff like that," (University of Maryland aerospace engineer Sean) Humbert said. "This is a good design if you want to do crazy acrobatic maneuvers."

Crested Pterodactyl Inspires Aircraft Design (via The Anomalist)