Of course it has some effect in keeping the body warm while providing a lightweight structure allowing birds to fly. But feathers are more than just a cover for birds skin – they have a very important functionality controlling the aerodynamics around a birds body and wings. In fact they build a passive flow regulation system enabling the bird to increase lift and reduce drag.
Rigid airfoils – no matter how well they are streamlined – have the physical limitation to exploit only a statistical mean in an optimal aerodynamic stage. They cannot cope with the dynamic nature of fluid matter, which demands for every single aerodynamic stage an individual solution. A static object cannot deliver this flexibility.
AF-AX technology represents the technical adaptation of the feather coating enabling rotor blades to better interact with variations in the surrounding air flows. The surface can passively follow the demands of the air stream. This creates a higher performance of the rotor blade, which leads to an increased and more sustainable power output.