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Clean engines, wings that fold: Boeing dreams of futuristic jets

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posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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When Boeing names an airplane design after a Muppet, it must be pretty different.

Two small teams at the company are re-imagining the airplane in futuristic configurations that sprout wings, tails and engines in unexpected shapes and places.

The research, illustrated in internal documents obtained by The Seattle Times, aims in two directions: low-cost airplanes, and environmental-friendly planes that will be quieter, use much less fuel and leave fewer pollutants in the upper atmosphere.

seattletimes.nwsource.com...



Granted these are "paper airplane" but it's another sign that Boeing is really looking foward and I digg the Muppet names.

BTW Aren't turboprops stupendously loud?

[edit on 5-5-2006 by El Tiante]

[edit on 5-5-2006 by El Tiante]




posted on May, 5 2006 @ 12:17 PM
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The canard idea has been looked at before. The problem being that the lift distribution over the main wing is adversely affected by the downwash created from the canard wing, also, outboard the canards there would be upwash from the trailing vortices, thus increasing effective AoA of the main wing towards the tips - making it have an even more inefficient lift distribution (as in less lift at centre, more towards wingtips) - this results in big trailing vortices = alot of drag.


You can twist the wing to get around this to a degree, but its a dirty solution.



Uhm, well, aircraft like the Bombardier CRJs already have the wing kept clear of engines, propfans (different from turboprops) have been researched before ->



They were abandoned for 2 main reasons:

- cabin noise
- not jet engines = not stylish/fashionable.

But they were much more efficient than turbofans, Bill Gunston states a particular propfan (can't remember exactly what aircraft, perhaps the AN-70, it was comparable for definite) as having half the cruise sfc of a B767!


Having the fan behind the tail like that will result in the fan cutting through the boundary layer wake - not nice, but its workable.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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I would expect future (long-term) projects to focus more on alternative propulsion methods rather than what is essentially simply re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic.


In Boeing's short term they have the 787, medium term the 737 replacement and after that...?


Radical concepts look great... until you take them to the FAA to be certified - then the problems start


Ideally, I'd love to see BWBs flying around in 20 years - but realistically I can't see it within 40 years.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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Here's a picture I've had kicking around for nearly 30 years, this is as good a place as any to post it as I can see definite parallels with features on this design, a 1977 scheme for an airliner with 'natural laminar flow', and similar features on both the Kermit and Fozzie ideas above.

The only info I have is this caption which came with the picture which I quote below;

"Boeing concept for an airliner using natural laminar flow. The tandem wing layout is chosen to permit short chord-essential to maintain laminar flow-within reasonable bounds of aspect ratio."




posted on May, 5 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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How could that model create enough lift...??



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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The efficiencies of lifting body air design have been proved for a long time. Because of increased lift, slower landing and takeoff speeds are possible. Hence an air safety factor enhances the position of any airline using it. Every time I see these designs as looking forward, I know that they are looking back, trying to call a buzzard an eagle. It is
shameful an imposed design of tube aircraft also suppresses inventions. For the same money all the above advantages accue, but apparently the highly controlled aircraft cartel makes a poor and unsafe design paramount to produce more airplanes for an illusory notion of profit.

How long will large companies suppress designs that save fuel, enhance cost effectiveness, increase efficiency, and carry more passengers more safely. Instead we get more tubular designs whose only contribution is to move the engines away from the fuel tanks?



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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Originally posted by SkipShipman
It is shameful an imposed design of tube aircraft also suppresses inventions. For the same money all the above advantages accue, but apparently the highly controlled aircraft cartel makes a poor and unsafe design paramount to produce more airplanes for an illusory notion of profit.

How long will large companies suppress designs that save fuel, enhance cost effectiveness, increase efficiency, and carry more passengers more safely. Instead we get more tubular designs whose only contribution is to move the engines away from the fuel tanks?



Go learn something of the realities behind designing, building and introducing into service a commerical aircraft.


Do you really thing that Boeing and Airbus (and Bombardier, Tupolev, Embraer etc) are all actively not trying to produce the most effective aircraft they can?



They do the conventional fuselage as its the most well understood = safer & cheaper. Star Wars design ideas don't work (not for a private company anyway).



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 03:18 PM
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From a pre-flight inspection viewpoint, watch out for pinched hydraulic lines. Or tools left behind by maintenance.

Sikorsky H-60 helicopters (Blackhawks, Seahawks, etc.) have tails that fold and blades that pull back for transporting or when in a stored posture such as on the deck of an aircraft carrier.


The Blackhawk’s tail cone flight controls will be rerouted to accommodate the Naval H-60 rapid fold tail pylon.

pg 12 of .pdf


Navy flight controls were in the nose. I was stationed in an H-60 rag outfit in JAX and when hurricane warnings were out, we could stack ten birds in a hangar that normally held 4 spread. Tail to nose, nose to tail, etcetera down the line. Hurricane stacked.

Loaded a few on C-141's and C-5's too.

Here's a seastory: When I first checked into my squadron I was about eight, almost nine months pregnant--kid was ready to pop. They assigned me the broom closet squad of sweepers--kids fresh out of bootcamp, for the next two weeks when the baby was due. I was an E-5 and they were boots. Basically it was so I could sit for the half days I was around--my doc had already put me on half days--and tell stories to whoever was around to listen, seastories. Wonderful job.

The broom closet (with a desk and easy chair) was on the 2nd level and had a garage door that opened looking down into the hangar below. On that hangar floor were the scattered remains of an SH-60 that were being investigated for the cause of the crash.

Scattered into a million of pieces, it seemed to me.

Aircraft Helicopters: SH 60 - Seahawk - United States

Sorry for making it into a helicopter story, but the 'pinched' pieces made me think of this. (And I always have a seastory to tell.)



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by SkipShipman
The efficiencies of lifting body air design have been proved for a long time. Because of increased lift, slower landing and takeoff speeds are possible. Hence an air safety factor enhances the position of any airline using it. Every time I see these designs as looking forward, I know that they are looking back, trying to call a buzzard an eagle. It is
shameful an imposed design of tube aircraft also suppresses inventions. For the same money all the above advantages accue, but apparently the highly controlled aircraft cartel makes a poor and unsafe design paramount to produce more airplanes for an illusory notion of profit.

How long will large companies suppress designs that save fuel, enhance cost effectiveness, increase efficiency, and carry more passengers more safely. Instead we get more tubular designs whose only contribution is to move the engines away from the fuel tanks?
A cylindrical fuselage is EXTREMELY easy to pressurize compared to a lifting body fuselage. That, I think, is the main advantage they have in mind.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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I like HoneyDew, its seems to be the best looking one of the bunch...by far.

But the engines sould be closer to the airframe...have them be blended in with it...making it more aerodynamic. And they should get rid of the tail, thats not needed...unless you like having extra drag. The engines should be thrust vectoring.

Heres a quote from the article

"That speed is not acceptable in the current marketplace," Mooney said. "But in the future, if fuel burn becomes an even bigger driver, airlines and passengers may be willing to trade speed for lower fuel costs."


This guy says these concepts are at least 15 years away...probably over 20, and he's talking about planes getting slower! and people not minding!?

I think one of the reasons Boeing is looking at the BWB/Delta design, is so you have a much greater surface for lift, but at the same time, this "honeydew" concept could have more people by the windows...which is what people want.





posted on May, 6 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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Murcielago, is that the new shuttle? Looks like it has jets for powered landings this time around.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
The engines should be thrust vectoring.



This guy says these concepts are at least 15 years away...probably over 20, and he's talking about planes getting slower! and people not minding!?



I cannot emphasize enough how hard it is to get something like that through certification. Especially if its an absolute critical component, the failure of which would almost certainly result in the loss of the aircraft. The only avenue for it would be redundancy built in - requiring a tail - which means added weight.



If the aircraft get 5% slower, but save 5% on the fuel - you betcha people won't care.

5% speed is around 50 kph - you'd cover that in about 4 minutes.
5% fuel could be a helluva lot of money in the not to distant future.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 03:09 AM
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Several Airliners are struggling...and need gov money to keep operating. Planes are known as the quickest way to get from A to B...But with Trains, Vehicles, Ships, all getting more efficient while being able to go faster...and are making profits...then there’s no reason airlines cant do the same.

In around 10 years cars being able to drive themselves (and you) should be entering the market. Trains are getting very fast...the top speed is 342 mph, and they can go faster then that...all while being efficient and generating a good profit. Ships are getting quicker to, with a lot of multi-hull designs, along with better engines.

And aircraft manufacturers actually think that people wont mind if it goes slower...Hell, if they slow down much more trains will be quicker then them...along with already the fact that trains have lower ticket prices, and offer much much more comfort.

I'm sorry, But there needs to be a change...and a delta wing could be it.
I personally think that ounce the sound barrier "boom" problem is done with, then have supercruise airliners should happen...that basically mean that they will over double in speed...with no boom (or at least very low), making it fine for use over land and densely populated cities.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by SkipShipman
It is shameful an imposed design of tube aircraft also suppresses inventions. For the same money all the above advantages accue, but apparently the highly controlled aircraft cartel makes a poor and unsafe design paramount to produce more airplanes for an illusory notion of profit.

How long will large companies suppress designs that save fuel, enhance cost effectiveness, increase efficiency, and carry more passengers more safely. Instead we get more tubular designs whose only contribution is to move the engines away from the fuel tanks?



Go learn something of the realities behind designing, building and introducing into service a commerical aircraft.


Do you really thing that Boeing and Airbus (and Bombardier, Tupolev, Embraer etc) are all actively not trying to produce the most effective aircraft they can?



They do the conventional fuselage as its the most well understood = safer & cheaper. Star Wars design ideas don't work (not for a private company anyway).


Oh sorry I did not mention the Bernelli design, and why politics, and the suppression of such inventions has been done to produce more aircraft at lower efficiency. It is a cartel, get it? It wants to pump out more material moving fewer passengers at less efficiency so it can profit from the demand curve. That inefficency was critical to the earlier slightly more competitive oil industry, which has evaporated more recently into the same cartel. Lifting body design carries more cargo right at lower energy requirements. Do you get it in a world when gas was 10 cents a gallon and abundant? The larger oil companies had enough of a controlling stake to push the tube aircraft design quite boringly on the passenger aircraft market. Read the web site link and you might have a clearer picture, as my description of this is sketchy here.



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 04:45 PM
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Interesting site, but you do have to wonder about their credibility when you see something like this;



Are they sure? Is there a new definition of 'copied' that hasn't yet reached the UK?


Having said that however, I was surprised at how familiar THIS one looked;




posted on May, 11 2006 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by SkipShipman

Oh sorry I did not mention the Bernelli design, and why politics, and the suppression of such inventions has been done to produce more aircraft at lower efficiency. It is a cartel, get it? It wants to pump out more material moving fewer passengers at less efficiency so it can profit from the demand curve. That inefficency was critical to the earlier slightly more competitive oil industry, which has evaporated more recently into the same cartel. Lifting body design carries more cargo right at lower energy requirements. Do you get it in a world when gas was 10 cents a gallon and abundant? The larger oil companies had enough of a controlling stake to push the tube aircraft design quite boringly on the passenger aircraft market. Read the web site link and you might have a clearer picture, as my description of this is sketchy here.



I already know all about the Bernelli design. Heck, I've done preliminary design work on similar ideas.

All well and good for cargo (indeed, I posted something very relevant to this on one of the other threads).



Now, go and pressurise said wing fuselage and get the FAA to let you fly it...





Oh, and the BWB is about 40 years away - thats the words of top Boeing and Airbus engineers, not mine.



posted on May, 13 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Several Airliners are struggling...and need gov money to keep operating. Planes are known as the quickest way to get from A to B...But with Trains, Vehicles, Ships, all getting more efficient while being able to go faster...and are making profits...then there’s no reason airlines cant do the same.

In around 10 years cars being able to drive themselves (and you) should be entering the market. Trains are getting very fast...the top speed is 342 mph, and they can go faster then that...all while being efficient and generating a good profit. Ships are getting quicker to, with a lot of multi-hull designs, along with better engines.

And aircraft manufacturers actually think that people wont mind if it goes slower...Hell, if they slow down much more trains will be quicker then them...along with already the fact that trains have lower ticket prices, and offer much much more comfort.

I'm sorry, But there needs to be a change...and a delta wing could be it.
I personally think that ounce the sound barrier "boom" problem is done with, then have supercruise airliners should happen...that basically mean that they will over double in speed...with no boom (or at least very low), making it fine for use over land and densely populated cities.

In case you don't know, the A320, currently sold over 2000 planes, cruises at around 460mph on average. What loss is it going 60mph extra, while being way more efficient? Planes AREN'T getting slower, but they are slowly getting faster. I expect to see a jump when the industry is ready


Also, Trains won't be quicker than planes, I'd like to see how many costly train tracks it would cost to cover all the domestic commercial air routes in America, or how much it would cost to make a 550mph train cross the Atlantic!



The efficiencies of lifting body air design have been proved for a long time. Because of increased lift, slower landing and takeoff speeds are possible. Hence an air safety factor enhances the position of any airline using it. Every time I see these designs as looking forward, I know that they are looking back, trying to call a buzzard an eagle. It is
shameful an imposed design of tube aircraft also suppresses inventions. For the same money all the above advantages accue, but apparently the highly controlled aircraft cartel makes a poor and unsafe design paramount to produce more airplanes for an illusory notion of profit.

How long will large companies suppress designs that save fuel, enhance cost effectiveness, increase efficiency, and carry more passengers more safely. Instead we get more tubular designs whose only contribution is to move the engines away from the fuel tanks?

Haha, your joking right?
Why don't you check, how many 737NGs, 777s or A330 have crashed, then compare that to these vintage things, far from unsafe!

The BWB design is the one that's poor, how on earth are you meant to turn? Magic?

And what's the point of the new planes getting built, just because they're shiny?

No. The real reason, is the new planes, have new technology.
The new tech and contributions isn't moving the engines away from the fuel tanks (haha, some planes store fuel in the tail), some of it is:

Composites, enabling a aircraft to be lighter and stronger.

Computers making engines designed better causing half as many parts and double the service life.

Computers enabling engines to idle a lower speeds,
Newer engines are 14db quieter than engines on current 747s (over half as quiet if I'm not mistaken)

Fly-By-Wire and computer systems in planes eliminating the 3rd person in the cockpit. Lowering costs.

Newer engines ARE cheaper and burn LESS fuel.

Compare the SFC of newer engines versus older ones, tell me if you think they're so bad now?

Them Bernelli and BWB designs aint going to cut it for an airline, thought about de-planing a 800seat BWB? Impossible! And safer? No, imaging trying to get out of a crashed BWB with 800 other people with 8 aisles when the plane is filling with smoke.


And why would they want things not more efficiant?
If Boeing did what you said they are, Airbus could just make one of your magical BWBs and dominate the market!


I tell you what, go to a aviation website, and ask about it:
www.airliners.net is a good one.

One thing is for shore new designs other than tubes will be basically free ONCE THE TECHNOLOGY IS DEVELOPED!


[edit on 13/5/06 by JimmyCarterIsSmarter]



posted on May, 13 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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JimmyC
Planes AREN'T getting slower, but they are slowly getting faster. I expect to see a jump when the industry is ready

There also not getting faster. People loved it when Boeing introduced the Sonic Cruiser, that went just under mach 1...but they cancelled it...and Boeing or Airbus haven’t showed off any concepts (that I've seen) in which that plane go faster then all the others out there.


JimmyC
Also, Trains won't be quicker than planes, I'd like to see how many costly train tracks it would cost to cover all the domestic commercial air routes in America, or how much it would cost to make a 550mph train cross the Atlantic!

ya never know...If the plane ride is short (2-3 hours) then the train might prevail...since its a lot quicker to get train then wait in line at airliners.
The current top speed a train has hit is 342mph. If you build the train inside a tube/tunnel and use pump to pump the air out you decrease air pressure...and in doing so also lowers the drag and friction...so the train could go much faster. Oh, and there are concepts of a transatlantic train in which it would be in a tunnel, 200 feet below the water surface, and it would be oxygen free...making the train travel at speeds unheard of...5000mph! I would love that...But I know it wont happen in my life time (if ever).



posted on May, 13 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

JimmyC
Planes AREN'T getting slower, but they are slowly getting faster. I expect to see a jump when the industry is ready

There also not getting faster. People loved it when Boeing introduced the Sonic Cruiser, that went just under mach 1...but they cancelled it...and Boeing or Airbus haven’t showed off any concepts (that I've seen) in which that plane go faster then all the others out there.


JimmyC
Also, Trains won't be quicker than planes, I'd like to see how many costly train tracks it would cost to cover all the domestic commercial air routes in America, or how much it would cost to make a 550mph train cross the Atlantic!

ya never know...If the plane ride is short (2-3 hours) then the train might prevail...since its a lot quicker to get train then wait in line at airliners.
The current top speed a train has hit is 342mph. If you build the train inside a tube/tunnel and use pump to pump the air out you decrease air pressure...and in doing so also lowers the drag and friction...so the train could go much faster. Oh, and there are concepts of a transatlantic train in which it would be in a tunnel, 200 feet below the water surface, and it would be oxygen free...making the train travel at speeds unheard of...5000mph! I would love that...But I know it wont happen in my life time (if ever).

That would be pretty cool, but I once (I don't fly in jets much) walked straight into the airport, caught my 717 within 20minutes. Geat fun!



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