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 airplanes of tomorrow extremely aerodynamic, using the same trick that helps golf balls fly faster and straighter. » 6/28/14 4:00pm 6/28/14 4:00pm

Physicists Make Real-Life Tractor Beam From Plain Ol' Water

You don't need to be a beach bum to understand waves: they move objects along with them, pushing boats and swimmers to the shore. There's even a name for it, the Stokes drift model. But for the first time, physicists have figured out how to do the opposite, using waves to bring a floating object backward to the source » 4/09/14 11:00am 4/09/14 11:00am

The World's Most Aerodynamic Triathlon Bike Even Has Streamlined Snack…

Often in athletic competitions an athlete's 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. » 7/11/12 2:00pm 7/11/12 2:00pm

Holy Memorandum! The Secret to Bats' Super-Efficient Flight Could Help…

When a team of biologists, physicists, and engineers at Brown University put their heads together to look at batwings, they discovered how wings on everything from military vehicles to batman could become 35 percent more efficient. » 4/10/12 7:00pm 4/10/12 7:00pm

12 Wind-Slipping Designs from the Father of Streamlining

Boat-planes, trains, flying cars, or school desks—you name it and Norman Bel Geddes could make it sleeker. He helped bring the Streamline style—one that balances aesthetics with aerodynamics—to the mainstream. Were Steve Jobs alive in the 1930's, he would have been all over this. Our friends at Oobject have 12 of his… » 2/10/12 9:40pm 2/10/12 9:40pm

Clever 1-Minute Video Shows How Airplane Wings Really Work

You probably think that a wing lifts an airplane because the airflow moving over the top has a longer distance to travel and "needs to go faster to have the same transit time as the air travelling along the lower, flat surface." Well, you are wrong. » 1/24/12 10:00am 1/24/12 10:00am

Baseball Players Would Never Use the Performance-Enhancing Reebok…

In America's pastime, where honor and fair competition reign and unfair advantages are never tolerated, there is no place for the "aerodynamic" Reebok Vector O baseball bat. After all, ballplayers would do anything to avoid besmirching their sport! » 6/09/09 10:00am 6/09/09 10:00am

Research UAV is Preview of Hovering Spy Drones of Tomorrow

Meet STARMAC, the Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control. Possibly the cleverest remote control mini-helicopter you've ever seen, packed with GPS, sensors and computer power. It's a research quad-rotor that the Stanford team is using to develop algorithms for future aircraft like it. » 7/03/08 10:40am 7/03/08 10:40am

Japanese Astronaut's Space Boomerang Came Back

Japan's Takao Doi has just checked out an aerodynamics conundrum we were all curious about: would a boomerang return when thrown in zero-G? World boomerang champion Yasuhiro Togai had asked him to find out, you see. So, taking time out from his work aboard the International Space Station, he gave it a whirl. » 3/21/08 12:00pm 3/21/08 12:00pm

180mph Car Treadmill Great for Designers, Dangerous for Pilots

Check this full size Nascar sitting on top of a steel belt sliding at 180mph. While wind tunnels have been used to design cars for years, the results can be affected by the fact that the ground is still. This machine solves that problem, in truly dramatic and dangerous fashion. Just like NASCAR itself. The image after… » 7/26/07 6:32am 7/26/07 6:32am

Aptera Concept Car: 330mpg, Under $20K

Yeah, you're laughing at this weird-looking half-egg-shaped concept car now, but when gasoline costs $10 a gallon not too long from now, this 330 mile-per-gallon Aptera concept car might start looking pretty damn good. It cops that high-mpg efficiency with a fuel-sipping diesel engine lashed onto hybrid technology,… » 8/11/06 10:00am 8/11/06 10:00am

TECA Concept Vehicle: Whats Wrong With This Picture?

Certainly not for the claustrophobic, here's a new idea for a motorcycle body that s supposed to give you more energy efficiency, safety and convenience when you're riding that crotch rocket of yours. This concept vehicle from design group TECA is made of carbon fiber composite and honeycomb, and with its aerodynamic… » 1/30/06 5:00pm 1/30/06 5:00pm