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New Airplane Design Requires Significantly Less Fuel

A MIT-led team of researchers recently came up with a green airplane design that uses 70 percent less fuel than conventional airliners. The engineers of the180-passenger D “double bubble” scrapped the established single fuselage cylinder in favor of two partial cylinders connected by a bubble-like cross-section. They also placed the engines at the rear of the plane instead of on the wings. This configuration takes advantage of Boundary Layer Ingestion, a technique that allows the slower moving air in the wake of the fuselage to save fuel while creating the same amount of thrust. While the presented version was highly conceptual, the team also designed another D-series plane that could actually be built with aluminum and current jet technology and would still use half the fuel of a current aircraft.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517162834.htm


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