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NASA's Bug Repellent Aims to Save Airlines Millions in Fuel Cost

  • Wings to have Teflon-like coating so insects won't stick
  • Scientists say project may reduce aircraft drag, cut fuel use
Non-stick wing coatings are tested on the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 757 aircraft.

Non-stick wing coatings are tested on the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 757 aircraft.

Photographer: Paul Bagby/NASA Langley

The next frontier of aircraft design is taming bug splats.

NASA scientists are patenting substances that act like non-stick cookware, blocking dead insects from adhering to surfaces so air flows more smoothly over the wings and fuselage.