KLM proposes a long-distance “blended wing body” aircraft concept, featuring wings that merge with its body.
Images credit KLM
Dutch airline KLM and Delft University of Technology have unveiled plans for AHEAD aircraft (Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development), with a “blended wing body.”
The futuristic aircraft for the year 2050, would carry 300 passengers non stop from Europe to Australia.
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.
The propulsion systems—that is, the engines—according to engineers.
AHEAD involves a totally new engine design—a hybrid engine using two 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 different combustor and fuel systems the engine’s total efficiency increases and emissions are reduced.
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