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The various facilities at an airport are designed to cope adequately with the anticipated flow of passengers and cargo. The flow that any particular facility can accommodate without serious inconvenience to the users is considered to be its capacity. Limits on the traffic that can reasonably be accommodated at an airport are reached in a number of ways. These include air traffic delays to landing and takeoff movements; congestion on runways, taxiways, and aprons; crowding and delays in terminal buildings; or severe congestion in such access facilities as parking areas, internal roads, and public transport.

 

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BWB

Blended Wing Body

The Future of Air Carrier Hardware

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Is this the plane of the future?

July 27, 2015 17:10

KLM's sleek and streamlined AHEAD aircraft is one of many proposed aircrafts that could radically change the way we fly.

 

The plane of the future could well be a sleek and streamlined aircraft with a “blended wing” if proposals by the Delft University of Technology in Holland and Dutch carrier KLM come to fruition.

A blended wing is one that is seamlessly connected to the plane rather than attached separately to the fuselage and it’s one of a number of innovations that has been mooted as a result of the AHEAD study the two organisations collaborated on. Standing for Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development [AHEAD}, the study saw academics, manufacturers and aviation experts consider how higher-tech aircraft could be developed and the aviation experience enhanced.

The prototype plane’s proposed silhouette would minimise drag and so reduce fuel consumption. A totally new engine design would provide better efficiency too, with a hybrid engine and other complicated technological amendments further finessing performance.

More precise details can be found in KLM’s report on the development, but the general public is unlikely to see the results of this study in reality until about 2050. Though a long way off, it is the latest ambitious proposal for a radically different type of commercial aircraft.

 

 

BLENDED WING BODIES

BWB

 

A Blended wing body [BWB or Hybrid Wing Body, HWB] is a fixed-wing aircraft having no clear dividing line between the wings and the main body of the craft.

The form is composed of distinct wing and body structures, though the wings are smoothly blended into the body, unlike a flying wing which has no distinct fuselage. Many BWB craft have a flattened and airfoil shaped body, which produces most of the lift, the wings contributing the balance.

The potential advantages of the BWB approach are efficient high-lift wings and a wide airfoil-shaped body. This enables the entire craft to contribute to lift generation with the result of potentially increased fuel efficiency and range. A blended wing body can have lift-to-drag ratio fifty [50%] percent greater than conventional aircraft.

The BWB configuration is used for both aircraft and underwater gliders.

 

Meanwhile at KLM

These days, aircraft consist largely of a cylindrical fuselage with wings attached. The design has been in use for decades. A new study—called AHEAD—shows that aircraft design can be different. Could this be the future of aviation?

AHEAD stands for Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development. AHEAD is a long-term aircraft design study led by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands along with a variety of academic and manufacturing partners throughout the world. KLM Engineering & Maintenance participated in this study and helped design the AHEAD Aircraft that can carry more than four hundred [400] passengers over a range of fourteen thousand [14,000] kilometers.

Why did KLM participate in this study?

In a high level design study like this, designers—in their enthusiasm to develop a high-tech aircraft—cannot always see every practical implication of their design. The drawing board is very different to real-life practice and operation.

That is why KLM Engineering & Maintenance [as one of the possible future users of these aircraft] was invited to participate in the various design teams and to add a critical eye to the practical usage and operation.

Minimizing resistance [or drag] is one of the main challenges in aircraft design. Overcoming drag requires power, and this results in greater fuel consumption. A blended wing body is one of the very promising designs to minimize the drag and, is so doing, making aircraft much more fuel-efficient.

Though being developed by different companies, a number of the aircraft share a common proposed innovation: windowless cabins.

By removing windows the aircraft would succumb to less drag and so could reach enhanced speeds. In their place, screens that curved around the interior of the cabin could broadcast footage from outside via cameras or be used to display films, presentations or whatever other footage was desired by the select few inside.

 

Jet Engine Development

The jet engines currently in use are called turbofan engines. This is how they work. Large volumes of air flow through and around the engine. Some of that air is used to burn kerosene fuel in a combustor. The heated air then drives the turbines that in turn drive the compressors and that make up the entire propulsion system.

AHEAD involves a totally new engine design—a hybrid engine using two [2] different combustion systems. The first combustor burns either cryogenic hydrogen or liquefied Natural Gas [LNG], the second combustor burns either kerosene or biofuel. By using two [2] different combustor and fuel systems the engine’s total efficiency increases and emissions are reduced.

Designs were released in spring for the hydrogen-powered AWWA-QG Progress Eagle, a concept plane by Barcelona-based Oscar Vinals that would harness nascent technologies to fly with zero emissions and at a volume seventy-five [75%] per cent quieter than today’s aircraft.

The eight hundred [800] passenger plane would also include a “better than first-class cabin” that could accommodate a panoramic cinema and 3D screens.

Vinals’s design could, he claims, be realised by the 2030s, but a “beyond-first-class” experience is already available aboard Etihad A380 flights. The airline’s Residence is a three-room suite with bedroom and bathroom that accommodates two passengers and features a dedicated butler.

 

 


 

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