Aviation Goes ‘Green’ At Unveiling

May 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

These days ‘green’ is a big buzz word that is influencing virtually every sector of life. From housewives to musicians, everyone is looking for new ways to make less of an impact on an already struggling environment. The field of aviation is no different. The Science Museum in London recently unveiled a new exhibition focused on the eco-friendly future of aviation. The display will run for a period of six months.

The museum display is appropriately entitled: “Does Flying Cost the Earth?”, and gives visitors to the museum insight into new materials and advanced engine technologies that will go a long way to reducing the impact that aircraft have on the environment. It also includes a futuristic aircraft with a blended-wing body design that was created by Cambridge University. This radical new concept is essentially one big wing. The design balances the forces of aerodynamics so well that there is no need for a tail. The streamlined design of the wings and the aircraft ensure that there the lift of the aircraft is highly efficient and there is low cruise drag. The entire craft is essentially designed to reduce fuel burn. The aircraft is fitted with high-capacity, low-speed fans that will further help the environment by minimizing noise pollution at the same time as improving the fuel efficiency of the aircraft. The research shows that such an aircraft could produce 25% less carbon emissions than current aircraft. There is even a chance that this type of aircraft could be put into production by 2030.

Another facet of the exhibition that is worth taking note of is the easyJet airplane model. This innovative craft makes use of open rotor engines to cut carbon emissions by 25%. The fan-blade operated open rotor engine that is situated at the back of the aircraft will also serve to decrease fuel consumption. The easyJet, which could be in use by 2016, features more aerodynamic wings and is manufactured from carbon fiber composites and other light weight materials.

Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to see examples of a titanium aluminized turbine blade, carbon fiber composite and an energy efficient airplane engine. The exhibition is being sponsored by the European aerospace company known as EADS.

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