The Stealthy Owl Wing

Justin Jaworski believes the key to creating quieter airplanes, wind turbines and underwater vehicles may be found on the wing of an owl.

Jaworski, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, is studying the physics of owls’ silent flight in hopes of one day influencing the design of vehicles and technologies. Four years of research, he says, have convinced him that three key features account for the owl’s ability to fly more quietly—and stealthily—than hawks, eagles and other birds of prey.

Illustration by: Harry Campbell