For the longest time, commercial airlines have used the same tube and wing design. Regardless of how many engines or even size, the main design is still the same. There is one design which may be applicable for commercial use, the blended wing body design.
A blended wing body or a BWB aircraft has a hybrid shape that resembles a flying wing but also incorporates some features from commercial planes. Its airframe merges efficient high-lift wings with a wide airfoil-shaped body. This allows for the entire aircraft to generate lift instead of just the wings. By minimizing drag, this shape will help fuel economy while creating more areas for cargo and passengers alike.
The blended wing body design isn’t anything new. In fact, it was designed decades ago, and certain planes have already incorporated the design. The famous BWB plane has to be the B-2 bomber and the YB-49. The YB-49 was developed in the 1940s and used composite materials that are stronger and lighter compared to conventional metal planes. BWB planes are also known for having several control surfaces on the trailing edge as demonstrated by the B-2.
If a commercial airline decides to make use of a BWB design, it would truly be revolutionary. Ticket prices may go down with the savings on jet fuel, more people could be accommodated, and the new design could create unique interior designs never seen before.
Scott Beale is an aviation and aerospace professional with more than 20 years of leadership experience. For more reads on the aviation field, visit this blog.
Industry giants Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have set 2020 as their target year for trying out a commercial aircraft that was modified to allow semi-battery-powered flight. This plane, which will be partially run on electricity, will be called the E-Fan X, which people may recognize as a modified BAe146 (100-seater).
Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens hope that this new electric plane could be the commercial aircraft of choice in the future. In fact, they hope that more companies will follow suit and adapt this technological change as early as 2025.
The plan is to replace one of E-Fan X’s four engines with a two-megawatt electric motor, and see how it handles, or if there are any substantial changes to the aircraft’s range. If none are seen, then there is a huge chance that two engines could be replaced by electric motors.
The coming together of the three major companies wasn’t a coincidence, as each of them will take on a specific role in the creation of this hybrid plane. Airbus will integrate the new engine with the flight controls. Rolls-Royce will create the engine, its two-megawatt power source, and the electronics to power it. And Siemens will provide the network for power distribution.
Scott Beale has been a business leader in the aviation industry, turning around some big-name companies for the better. For more industry updates, check out this site.