. . . but I'm sure Klingon passengers would be happy! It's a conceptual aircraft in art and model form, presented by Airbus at this week's Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in England. They've dubbed it the Airbus Bird Of Prey, although it's not armed, unlike its fictional namesake. (In fairness, Airbus specifically links the name to birds of prey here on earth, but given the number of Trekkies out there, it's inevitable that the science fiction association will be made, too.)
According to the company's press release:
Airbus has unveiled a bird-like conceptual airliner design with the goal of motivating the next generation of aeronautical engineers, underscoring how they can make a difference by applying technologies researched at the company in hybrid-electric propulsion, active control systems and advanced composite structures.
Revealed at this week’s Royal International Air Tattoo air show in the UK, the theoretical design is a hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller aircraft for regional air transportation. Inspired by efficient mechanics of a bird, it has wing and tail structures that mimic those of a bird of prey, while featuring individually controlled feathers that provide active flight control.
. . .
While not intended to represent an actual aircraft, Airbus’ “Bird of Prey” is based on realistic ideas – providing an insight into what a future regional aircraft could look like. It includes a blended wing-to-fuselage joint that mirrors the graceful and aerodynamic arch of an eagle or falcon, representing the potential of biomimicry (the design and production of materials, structures and systems inspired by nature).
There's more at the link, including a larger version of the image if you'd like to download it. There's also a computer-generated-image video of the concept on Twitter.
Dare I say that if Airbus were to develop that concept into a flying model, it'd be a feather in the company's cap? However, it might cause difficulties if it suffers a bird strike while landing or taking off. I mean, with the aircraft looking like that, it might have been a mating attempt!