Kingfisher-inspired Bullet Trains
Japanese bullet trains used to have noise problems. The speed of these trains caused loud booming sounds when exiting tunnels that wake up people who lived nearby and disturb wildlife. Because of that, the engineers had to quiet down the noise level of the train. After finding out that the cause of the loud noise is the shape of the face of the train, they decided to study the nature of a kingfisher. A kingfisher is a bird known as an effective hunter. It dives into the water to catch food and creates almost no splash even at high speed. This is because of the aerodynamic build of its bill and head. They applied this idea and modeled the face of the train like the kingfisher’s head. After trying the new model, it moved through without creating a booming sound. It also saved them 10-15% more energy because it was more aerodynamic.