Flying Saucer Designed for Greener Air Travel

Eco-conscious travelers buy off their global warming guilt with carbon offsets that promote wind farms and reforestation.

Meanwhile, aviation engineers are taking another route, designing a more environmentally sustainable airplane that may overturn long-held notions of flight engineering.

"I want to get rid of the image of a cylindrical body with wings," said Etnel Straatsma of Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.

The plane of the future, in Straatsma's vision, might be as wild as a flying saucer. She and other engineers are toying with lighter materials and some are pondering ideas as radical as returning to propeller-driven planes as an eco-friendly alternative to passenger jets.

Straatsma heads the recently-formed CleanEra project, which aims to design an "ultra-eco-friendly plane" that releases 50 percent less carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than current airliners. The project's "greenliner"—depicted in design illustrations as a flying saucer—would also reduce other pollutants and noise, in line with recommendations from the European Aerospace Commission, ACARE.

The challenge is that modern airplanes are already close to maximally optimized, said Alexander de Haan, also from Delft but not involved with CleanEra. He has examined various design modifications and found that they could reduce carbon emissions and noise levels by, at most, 10 to 15 percent.

"These ideas cannot keep up with the 5 percent growth that the [airline] industry continues to have year after year," de Haan said.

Aviation accounts for about 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, but what has many worried is how fast the industry is growing. By 2050, air travel could be 5 percent or more of the total warming affect, according to a 1999 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Although estimates vary, flying in a plane releases the equivalent of about 1 pound of carbon dioxide per mile per passenger, which is about the same as driving a car the same distance.

Constant retooling of aircraft has helped to decrease emissions per passenger by 2 to 2.5 percent per year, said Andreas Hardeman of the industry group International Air Transport Association. But he agreed that the current paradigm may have reached the "end of the line."

"Ever since the Boeing 707 first flew in 1957, airliners ... have changed very little in their basic appearance," Hardeman said. "However, because future improvements to the basic design are getting harder to make, economic and environmental pressures mean that the case for radical change is getting stronger."

Radical change could mean introducing novel materials and shapes, or even reviving "old" propulsion systems.

Work less, fly more ;) here the entire ''top'' article from Livescience.com

17 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog
that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Feel free to visit my site: More Information

Anonyme a dit…

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
community. Your website provided us with valuable information
to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

Have a look at my weblog - visit the website

Anonyme a dit…

Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to your blog before but after looking at some of the posts I realized it's new to me.
Regardless, I'm certainly pleased I discovered it and I'll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

Here is my page: click here

Anonyme a dit…

Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new

Feel free to visit my weblog: more info

Anonyme a dit…

I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.

my website ... click the site

Anonyme a dit…

Right here is the right blog for anyone who really wants to find out
about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).

You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that's been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

Visit my weblog: More information

Anonyme a dit…

Howdy would you mind letting me know which web host you're working with? I've loaded your blog in 3
different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?
Kudos, I appreciate it!

Also visit my blog post :: visit this site

Anonyme a dit…

Wow, this post is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing such things, so
I am going to let know her.

Visit my web site: visit this site

Anonyme a dit…

Thank you, I have just been searching for info about this subject for a while and yours is the best I have found
out so far. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain about the source?

Look into my weblog ... wozaonline.co.za

Anonyme a dit…

Hi there, I desire to subscribe for this blog to get newest
updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

Here is my site: Visit here

Anonyme a dit…

Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
Anyway I'll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

Feel free to visit my page ... click this site

Anonyme a dit…

I'm not sure exactly why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

Here is my homepage - Visit here

Anonyme a dit…

I pay a visit day-to-day some web sites and information sites to read
articles, but this webpage gives feature based writing.

Here is my website; Click here

Anonyme a dit…

Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you know afterward
you can write if not it is complex to write.

Also visit my web blog; click the site

Anonyme a dit…

Hey there I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really found you by accident,
while I was searching on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I
am here now and would just like to say thanks for
a remarkable post and a all round exciting
blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look
over it all at the minute but I have book-marked
it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

my webpage: about

Anonyme a dit…

With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
My website has a lot of completely unique content
I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being ripped off? I'd really appreciate it.

my webpage: more info

Anonyme a dit…

This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I've shared your
web site in my social networks!

Feel free to surf to my web page: sell online