As a big fan of simplicity, biomimicry and a few other big words that designers and engineers throw around, I like to think of the reality of our current design paradigm as stuck. Stuck with convention, regulation and conformity. Leaving the herd makes it hard for us to imagine how things should move through the air if the herd weren’t so dogmatic about how an aircraft should look. But there’s good news. Looking at what Boeing and NASA have done in the pure research realm of the X-48, you’ll notice a trend. The cutting edge stuff (stealth bomber, etc.) is trending towards our friends the birds.