Bird2 may be seen as just ‘another nylon’ shuttle so I explain below some of the conceptual thoughts that went into the design of what is a more radical design than might be at first perceived.
Most of the design work done over the last few decades has gone into trying to make a synthetic feather to replace the16 individual feathers that make up the traditional shuttlecock. A close look at a feather reveals the amazing intricacies of the ‘design’ which have evolved over 150 million years. The stems are hollow and uniquely strong and the feathery bits act as a complete baffle to air but weigh virtually nothing. The chances of replicating the performance of a feather to any degree at a reasonable manufacturing cost are zero.
If one did manage then one still has to stick 16 individual ‘feathers’ into a piece of tree bark, bind them altogether somehow and stop them from moving and breaking readily. A moulded one piece flight gives the integrity and resilience to make a durable shuttlecock, but the moulding process is very limiting when trying to make an effective baffle or a rigid structure. After hundreds of different ideas to prevent the collapse of the body of the skirt, the current 2 piece design was conceived.
Splitting the form into 2 mouldings retains the concentric integrity and shortens the length of flow path to the vital lightweight section of the flight. This speeds up the moulding cycle and gives a more durable moulding. The undercut feature gives three times the rigidity as compared with standard nylon shuttles and cannot be formed in a one piece mould tool. It is not formed in the conventional way and gives perfect shape recovery; the processes involved cannot be seen in the finished design.
In the next blog I will go into the design in more detail and then explain some of the tests and trialing procedures we developed to prove the design.
Gordon Willis, Bird Design
Hi, I'm the designer of the revolutionary Bird2 shuttlecock. Let's change Badminton for the better, together; all comments and feedback are essential to perfecting our products.