A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Engineers and designers are giving commercial aircraft a makeover, in a bid to make them faster, greener and more efficient. Look up into the skies today at a passing aeroplane and the view is not that much different to the one you would have seen 60 years ago. Then and now, most airliners have two wings, a cigar-shaped fuselage and a trio of vertical and horizontal stabilizers at the tail. If it isn’t broke, the mantra has been, why fix it, particularly when your design needs to travel through the air at several hundred miles an hour packed with people. But that conservative view could soon change. Rising fuel prices, increasingly stringent pollution limits, as well as a surge in demand for air travel, mean plane designers are going back to their drawing boards. And, now, radical new shapes and engine technologies are beginning to emerge, promising the biggest shake-up in air travel since de Haviland introduced the first commercial jet airliner in 1952. Of course, it would be wrong to say nothing has changed in the last few decades, says Rich Wahls, an aerodynamicist at Nasa’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “New model airliners don’t come out every year like cars, but it’s not as if they haven’t been evolving under the skin the whole time. There’s so much more technology in there nowadays.” (via BBC - Future - Technology - Radical planes take shape)

Engineers and designers are giving commercial aircraft a makeover, in a bid to make them faster, greener and more efficient. Look up into the skies today at a passing aeroplane and the view is not that much different to the one you would have seen 60 years ago. Then and now, most airliners have two wings, a cigar-shaped fuselage and a trio of vertical and horizontal stabilizers at the tail. If it isn’t broke, the mantra has been, why fix it, particularly when your design needs to travel through the air at several hundred miles an hour packed with people. But that conservative view could soon change. Rising fuel prices, increasingly stringent pollution limits, as well as a surge in demand for air travel, mean plane designers are going back to their drawing boards. And, now, radical new shapes and engine technologies are beginning to emerge, promising the biggest shake-up in air travel since de Haviland introduced the first commercial jet airliner in 1952. Of course, it would be wrong to say nothing has changed in the last few decades, says Rich Wahls, an aerodynamicist at Nasa’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “New model airliners don’t come out every year like cars, but it’s not as if they haven’t been evolving under the skin the whole time. There’s so much more technology in there nowadays.” (via BBC - Future - Technology - Radical planes take shape)

Notes

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    Awesome!!