Are hybrid-electric airliners ready for takeoff?

Image source: radionz.co.nz

Much has already been said about the need for vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  On the ground, electric and hybrid-electric cars have been developed to achieve this objective.  While the aviation industry has lagged in this regard, hybrid airliners are becoming a reality, and not just a dream.

In the past, one of the main hindrances in the development of hybrid airliners is the heaviness of the batteries, which has led to safety concerns.  Compared with jet fuel, electric batteries carry much less energy for every unit of weight.  Even though electric motors are more efficient in converting energy into power than traditional engines, the total weight of a hybrid aircraft had been deemed too large for flight.

Image source: vrworld.com

But battery technology is continuing to advance.  Lithium-polymer batteries are continuously being improved, making it possible to manufacture lightweight hybrid aircrafts.  That these batteries can be recharged during flight makes the prospect of creating fuel-less airplanes even more promising.

Hybrid aircrafts have already been tested, and the results are encouraging.  When taking off, both the engine and motor are needed for the requisite power and speed.  But when the plane is cruising, the electric motor or generator takes over.  The capacity of the batteries may only allow a series of intercity or regional hops, for now.  But engineers are optimistic that by 2022, hybrid airliners that have a higher mile range can be used for commercial purposes.

Scott Beale has served in the aviation industry for more than 20 decades, successfully growing businesses, both which he acquired and founded.  Read more about the industry here.

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Six Interesting Facts About Flying

Scott Beale Aviation shares interesting and lesser-known facts about flying.

Nearly 4 billion passengers boarded planes across all global airlines in 2017, and that number shows signs of increasing as the years continue to progress. Despite so many passengers frequently flying across various airlines, there are many things individuals don’t know about flying. Here are six interesting facts about flying that explain why passengers experience dry eyes, mood swings, and more while traveling on planes.

Taste is Reduced During Flights

While airplane food may appear inherently unappetizing, it’s mostly rendered unappealing due to altitude. When it comes to traveling via airplanes, cabin pressure can reduce taste by as much as 30 percent. With about a third of taste buds numbed, it’s no surprise food eaten on airplanes tastes bland. Interestingly, altitude also tends to enhance savory flavors, making tomato juice so much more appealing.

Cabin Air is as Dry as a Desert

Humidity in a home is, on average, over 30 percent. A plane’s pressurized cabin keeps humidity low, typically less than 20 percent, which is about the average humidity of the Sahara Desert. While low humidity doesn’t present any health risks, passengers are advised to wear eyeglasses to prevent dry contact lenses and discomfort, use moisturizing lotions, and limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine on long flights to avoid internal dehydration.

Turbulence Typically Drops a Plane Only a Few Feet

While turbulence may be jarring to passengers, traditional, run-of-the-mill turbulence typically only drops a few feet in altitude. Moderate turbulence can drop a plane between 10 and 20 feet, whereas severe turbulence has the potential to move a plane 100 feet.

During a Crash, the Tail is the Safest Place

When it comes to choosing seats, the last seats prove the safest. While plane crashes are rare, according to a Popular Mechanics study, passengers who sit near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those seated in the first few rows of the plane.

Planes Can Still Operate With Only One Engine

While failed engines are unsettling, commercial jets are actually able to fly with only one operable engine. They are also able to land safely without any engine power.

Traveling By Plane Can Influence Moods

Many passengers admit to feeling emotional when traveling by plane. According to a 1988 study, decreased oxygen and mild hypoxia caused by altitude influences moods. This can cause individuals to experience depressive episodes, become irritable, anxious, and apathetic.

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Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than two decades, successfully growing founded and acquired businesses. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Whatever ended the flight of the Concorde?

What once was considered the future of luxury flight is today but a relic that one can find in museums. The Concorde fleet of commercial planes, which still holds the record for the fastest traversing of the Atlantic, ended its dominion of the skies 15 years ago.

Image source: independent.co.uk

The two Concorde carriers, British Airways and Air France, officially announced that the Concorde was retired on April 10, 2003, with the last flight of the planes having taken place on June 27 for Air France and October 24 for the British carrier. This marked the end of 27 years of the aircraft’s operation and service.

The sleek aircraft boasted of an average cruise speed of 1,155 miles per hour, which was more than twice the speed of the conventional aircraft and over twice the speed of sound. But it had to be retired primarily due to the combination of steep maintenance cost and low passenger rates. The decline in passenger turnout was largely the result of an Air France Concorde crash in 2000, wherein 113 people perished just minutes after the plane took off.

Investigators said that the accident was caused by a piece of metal on the runway that burst a tire and led to the fuel tank igniting as the Concorde was leaving the tarmac. The 9/11 attacks of the following year also played a big part in the ceasing of operations, as fewer people were willing to fly for some time after, much less to pay expensive ticket fares.

Image source: pbs.org

Interestingly, as 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Concorde’s inaugural test flight, a group called Club Concorde is raising funds to purchase, restore, and bring one plane back in the air. If only to give what once was deemed the king of the skies one more fitting salute.

Scott Beale is an aviation and aerospace professional and seasoned executive. For more aviation reads, drop by this blog.

Is The Blended Wing Body The Future Of Aircraft Design?

First developed a few decades ago, the Blended Wing Body or BWB is a hybrid aircraft design that makes a plane look like a manta ray. The design was then strictly used for military applications, but NASA and its affiliates are now keen on further studying its potential for use in commercial flight.

The BWB concept is seen to offer certain advantages over conventional tube and wing airframes. Firstly, it combines high-lift wing with an airfoil-shaped body. This would allow aircraft to generate more lift while minimizing drag. The shape likewise offers significantly decreased fuel consumption even with a bigger cargo or passenger capacity in the middle of the aircraft’s body.

                           Image source: researchgate.net

During the 1940s, the original BWB concept was used in the B-2 Bomber and the YB-49 military planes. These aircrafts had lighter and stronger metal frames and control surfaces on the trailing edge, following the same design principle as the current BWB which does away with the conventional tail assembly.

NASA believes that BWB can be used in large commercial planes. The configuration of the plane is efficient and would eat up 20 percent less fuel than most modern planes. Though BWB planes will have a slightly wider wingspan than a Boeing 747, they can operate in most airports in the U.S. These new planes are likewise seen to cost less to operate, weigh less, and generate less emissions and noise.

                                        Image source: dezeen.com

Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than two decades, successfully growing businesses, both which he acquired and founded. Through the years, he has developed competencies in account development and acquisitions, strategic and tactical planning, operational execution, and contract negotiations among others. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Top Advanced Fighter Jets In The World

While most people can only board passenger aircraft, only elite pilots can commandeer fighter jets. These technological marvels fly in supersonic speeds and are armed for combat, ready for battle at a moment’s notice. And since the fighter jet has broken the sound barrier, advancements have continued to make them better. Here are some of the top fighter jets in the world.

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Image source: nationalinterest.org

Currently the best fighter jet in the world, the Lockheed Martin Boeing F-22 Raptor is the most powerful and most expensive fighter jet ever to be produced. When it flies, it is almost invisible to most radars. And while information regarding most of its avionics and sensors are strictly classified, what is known is that its latest versions can perform multiple roles in combat. It can fight in the air, as well as engage targets on the ground.

Another Lockheed Martin makes it to the list, this time it’s the F-35, also known as the Lightning II. This aircraft was developed under the Joint Strike Fighter program that aimed to replace existing jet aircraft with a common fighter type aircraft. Unlike the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 has a smaller build and only has one engine instead of two. Similarly, it also has advanced stealth technology which makes it harder to detect.

The third most advanced jet comes from Russia, the Sukhoi Su-57. It is considered to be Russia’s answer to the F-22. Like the Raptor, the Su-57 can also engage surface targets.

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Image source: armaholic.com

Scott Beale has been working in the aviation industry for more than 20 years, successfully growing businesses, both which he acquired and founded. For more updates on the aviation and aerospace defense industries, visit this blog.

What are the advantages of a blended wing body aircraft?

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.

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                                                          Image source: nasa.gov

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.

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                                             Image source: nasa.gov

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.

The Hidden Meanings Inside Your Flight Number

Scott Beale Aviation The Hidden Meanings Inside Your Flight Number

Anyone who has ever taken a flight, international or domestic, knows that the number on your ticket is the key to everything. It tells you where to go, it helps you find your flight on the departures and arrivals board, and it is one of the main ways that you keep track of yourself and your luggage at the airport.

But have you ever wondered what that string of numbers and letters really mean, and what else they can do for you? Let’s take a look and find out.

The Significance of the Letters

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