Sometimes the most useful manifestation of a product or technology doesn't look the way that we think it should look.
Take for example the self driving car. In the 1990's we thought that a self driving car was a normal car with a robot driver --I'm thinking specifically about Johnny Cab driver in the movie Total Recall.
It turns out that really you can do away with the humanoid robot and integrate the intelligence into the car.
Same thing as the airplane. Early flight concepts tried to replicate the bird. For decades heavier then air flight did not work until the Wright Brothers cracked the code with something that looked nothing like the bird.
When it comes to innovation, retrofitting a new idea onto a previous paradigm is probably the wrong approach.
Focus on the problems and start from there. Let the function follow the form.