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Flying Saucer Designed for Green Air Travel

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posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 10:17 PM
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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.


SOURCE:
Live Science


I'm glad that there are people looking at how to make air travel more green,
since planes are a great source of pollution.

I like the flying saucer design, though I would like to see the aerodynamic models for it.

Personally, long range non oceanic travel, I think we should invest in MagLev's
since not only can they match, and in some cases exceed the speed of commercial airlines,
but they are capable of being 100% green since there power source is electricity.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
...but they are capable of being 100% green since there power source is electricity...


What generates the electricity? Fossil fuel plants? Nuclear plants? Bird-chewing wind generators? River destroying hydro dams? No power source is 100% 'green'. Everything has an ecological footprint. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

We can outsource and disperse the footprint, but it still exists somewhere in the world. The developed nations can pat themselves on the back and feel smug about how 'green' they now are, as the environmental cost is simply exported somewhere else out of sight and out of mind.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by dave_54
What generates the electricity? Fossil fuel plants? Nuclear plants? Bird-chewing wind generators? River destroying hydro dams? No power source is 100% 'green'. Everything has an ecological footprint. There is no such thing as a free lunch.


Well, if it were made 100% green, through a mixture of Solar, local wind (like small 5 ft
towers equally set along either side of the tracks), geothermal possibly, wave power,
and a multitude of other noninvasive green energy technologies.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 10:54 PM
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LOL Bird chewing wind generators.... Err while I agree that there is no such thing as a free lunch, wind power is not the bird killer that Anti-power people make them out to be. Wind generators are in use all around the globe and they have yet to produce mass bird kills that the nay sayers claim. Germany is a great example. They are all across the countryside there, and you never see piles of dead birds near them. I could say the same about the wind generators along the coast in northern Brasil as well.

I am not sure that the flying saucer in the above post is at all serious as they do not give any details about what keeps it aloft and what type of propulsion and lift system it uses. Even if one uses wind power I seriously doubt that that thing would fly on Batteries.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:04 PM
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I've not quite figured out the exact details of the proposed saucer design myself,
but the best I've been able to figure out is that it uses ultra efficient jet propulsion technology
while the craft is built out of lightweight possibly recyclable materials, to lower the fuel
amount needed.


And technically, with the right technology, you could actually make something fly
with just batteries, be that propeller prop driven planes or highly advanced Magnetic field
generating propulsion systems, though the batteries would probably have to probably depend
on some quantum effect that would allow for storage of massive amounts of energy for the latter.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
Well, if it were made 100% green, through a mixture of Solar, local wind (like small 5 ft
towers equally set along either side of the tracks), geothermal possibly, wave power,
and a multitude of other noninvasive green energy technologies.


Still not 100% green. Manufacturing of solar cells consumes electricity and produces toxic wastes. Geothermal energy disrupts the soil temperature gradient and may alter aquifer flow patterns, besides pumping heat (global warming) from the earth into the atmosphere. Wave power disrupts intertidal ecologies, and even small wind generators can eat birds. The materials to produce these technologies come from somewhere, most commonly mined from the ground. No method of power generation is 100% 'green' (I really hate that term. It is nonsensical). Everything has an environmental footprint.

Our society will never be truly environmentally conscious until we consider the total global cost of all the 'alternative energy' programs and technologies. Outsourcing a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing plant to a third world country does not really save anything in the long run.

The true conscious environmentalist and social activist, knowing that a nuclear depository or landfill must be built somewhere, insists on his own back yard. One cannot be a NIMBY and a good global citizen. The two are mutually exclusive.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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This is a "blue-sky" conceptual notion. Go to the Delft U site. They are legtimately into bio-fuel jets and turbo-props, mostly. Do they have anything other than a drawing of this saucer? No. It's in Straatsma's gourd as a "what if"... heavy on the "if", hold the "what".

Sorry, they don't do AG tech. Saucer's don't fly well as aerodynamic bodies go, they tend to spin and they don't generate aero-lift. They are looking for interns though and research associates and various positions.

Here's the the CleanEra project homepage at Delft U.

From the CleanEra Project Description webpage the following short quote:

"The final design will look nothing like a flying saucer."

OK. Don't believe me? Wanna see? No problem. Click here. Use the above quote as a search term... 4th paragraph, 1st sentence.

Cheers,

Vic

EDIT: The postions link on the Delft U website appears to be down... it was working the day of the OP when I did the research... my apologies, perhaps they'll fix it.

[edit on 25-7-2007 by V Kaminski]



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