Did Virgin Atlantic Really Create the World’s First Passenger Jet With Flapping Wings?
For nearly 10 years, engineers at Virgin Atlantic say they have been working on what will now be the world’s first aircraft with flappable wings.
The Dreambird 1417, modeled after a bird in flight, includes wings that are able to bend and flex, flapping in the same way a bird would when taking to the skies, they claim.
The wings are made from the lightweight material graphene, and are able to propel the plane forward at cruise speeds of 900 miles per hour, making the plane one of the fastest passenger jets in existence.
“Birds are the ultimate flying machine and it’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to harness their energy and apply it to a passenger aircraft,” Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s president, said in a press release. “Engineers all over the world have been trying for years to mimic a bird in flight and thanks to the perseverance and dedication of the team at Virgin Atlantic, we’ve finally succeeded."
Not only do the flapping wings propel the plane forward, but they also work to generate their own power for onboard features like lighting, ovens, and in-flight entertainment, they say.
There's just one problem.
The project, which uses new patented technology that’s being called “flapology,” is just a premature April Fools joke.