The Wing

Aircraft wings and the battle for efficiency

1. Wing defines aircraftSturdy, short and swept for speed or delicate, long and straight for efficiency? During the past 70 years, the airliner’s wing geometry hasn’t changed much. Advanced materials allow nowadays light-weighted and delicate designs and all current airliners are optimised for high subsonic speeds, e.g. 900 km/h / M 0.85. Why is this so? Continue reading “The Wing”

The Fuselage

Aircrafts look the same then 70 years ago

1. Airliner’s fuselages didn’t change for 70 years All current aircraft are Tube & Wing designs. A wing, which generates lift, a tube-like fuselage, which holds the load, and a balancing tail. Only small improvements were made to noses, cockpit windows, wing-root fairings and tail-cones. However, these  can not improve much further. Continue reading “The Fuselage”

The Jet-Engine

Jet airliner’s engines slow evolution towards fuel efficiency

Wikipedia, Jet Airlier
Wikipedia, Jet Airlier

1. Early jet enginesThrust formula
Above formula shows thrust depending on the mass of air passing through the engine and on the (excess) speed at which this air leaves the engine’s nozzle. Early jet airliners used engines which ejected all air with a very high velocity thought their nozzles. These engines were most effective at speeds close to the speed of sound, e.g. Mach (M) 0,85. Continue reading “The Jet-Engine”

The price for kerosene defines the airliners that are built

Low prices for fuel and CO2 emissions make airlines focus on fuel-thirsty speeds

1. Airlines  always get what they wantAircrafts are designed around an airline’s business plan. Designers optimise an aircraft’s fuselage, it’s wings and engines to fly with a specific speed to gain an airline the highest profits. The higher it’s speed, the more fuel an aircraft consumes, but the lower are it’s other costs. Continue reading “The price for kerosene defines the airliners that are built”

Revolutionary aircraft technologies are delayed

Aviation needs revolutionary technologies quickly to curb CO2 emissions. However, these get delayed by cheap kerosene

1. International Air Transport Association (IATA), the association of the world’s airlines, sees an urgent need for revolutionary new aircraft designs

„Each new generation of aircraft yields a typical 15% fuel efficiency improvement compared to the generation it replaces. This replacement occurs on average every 20 years, although smaller serial improvements and retrofits occur in the intervening period.”
IATA Technology Roadmap for Environmental Improvement Fact Sheet Continue reading “Revolutionary aircraft technologies are delayed”