The implications of engineering a passenger plane

If you are an avid reader of anything related to aircraft, you are in the right place. We have been opening up the complex pattern, the mind behind the designing of an aeroplane. If you have missed the first part of this series, going back to the first series will give you some insight about what we have covered so far. If you do not want to, I will give you a brief here for you.

The obstacles on the road to ideal design

Over the past 60 years, the whole airline industry have gone through tremendous changes with countless design and testing methods. Some were used and approved, most of them were dumped. One of the major design that stood against the tide of time is the tube and body concept.

This design is typically what we see in a regular passenger planes. One of the major reasons behind the rigidity of this design is the cut it has seen in the fuel consumption per passenger, per kilometer. Another one is the flexibility of extending or subtracting planes body while the core of the tube and wing concept remains the same. This also eliminate the need to retrain pilot for each new aircraft and got the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval.

Blended Wing Body design

A great example of this design would be the like of B2 Spirit from the Northrop Grumman. They are also known as the ‘Stealth Bomber’.

Yet the new design was earmarked to passenger transportation and of course not for the planes that  would be carrying weapons like B2 Spirit and be used for military operation. This new design will be used for carrying passengers on board.

The primary reason this design will be implemented if all goes well and positive, due to the tremendous cut in the fuel usage. This design or concept of the design is called blended wing body or BWB.  They are also refer to as hybrid wing body or HWB. If this design is being put to use after all test have been passed carefully, this design can turn the tide of the whole airline industry.

From the improved geometries of the wing, as of the mix of wide range of wing tip designs, we can notice the difference of these wings. These mere looking wing tip, is not for fashion but plays one of the most important role in an aircraft’s configuration and performance. Take a note of such an aeroplane as 737 max, with the following features: wingtip fences of the 8380 and blended winglets of the A380. Each of these engineering ideas has been implemented to reduce the vortex drag.

The vortex was generally formed by the wing tips on the fly. This was intentional and was done in such a way to convert this tornado to cause more fuel to be burn.

These wing tips can reduce the whole fuel consumption up to 6%.

The new trends in plane production

For the past 60 years, aircraft evolved in a drastic motion. While many design approaches came and gone, through trials by fire, the concept of tube and wing for the airlines remained the same. Although the look of the design may not be as noticeable to the mundane eye but under the hood, the average fuel consumption of these airlines has dropped significantly.

The statistics shows that over the years, average fuel burn per passenger dropped as much as nearly 50%. This is a lot of savings and awe inspiring works of constant engineering mind at work. This, in turn, allowed travelling not only to become cheaper but also so much eco-friendly.