Too little scope for development in today's aircraft technology

Jun 26, 2007

New technology can do much to improve certain aspects of aviation in terms of sustainable development over the next fifty years, but this will be nowhere near enough to compensate for the expected growth in air travel.

This is the view of researcher Alexander de Haan, who will receive a Ph.D. at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on Wednesday, June 27 for his research on this subject.

Ph.D. candidate Alexander de Haan has researched how new aircraft technology can contribute to sustainability in aviation. He has developed a model comprising a number of different scenarios that can be used to assess this sustainability in the coming fifty years.

De Haan concludes that, through technological development, progress can certainly be made with regard to aspects such as noise pollution and CO2 emissions. There are potential benefits to be gained, for example, from increased scale, new landing and take-off procedures/routes, the use of lightweight materials such as Glare (a composite material developed at Delft University of Technology), and new aircraft design concepts such as the Blended Wing Body.

According to De Haan, the benefits of applying this new aircraft technology will amount to no more than tens of percents for a number of sustainability aspects. From the perspective of sustainability, therefore, technological advances will certainly not be able to keep pace with the rapidly increasing demand for air travel over the next fifty years. This is even the case in the scenario with the lowest growth rate. De Haan predicts that the demand for air travel will at least double during that period.

In De Haan’s view, fifty years after the advent of the jet engine, today’s aircraft design models offer little scope for further development. He believes that, in order to make real progress/advances with regard to sustainability, a radically different aircraft concept is needed that incorporates not only the expertise of the various technical disciplines, but certainly also the behavioural disciplines and political aspects.

Source: Delft University of Technology

Explore further: Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ships without skippers

Sep 08, 2014

A 200 metre long vessel moves slowly across the dark sea surface. There is no one at the wheel. It is quiet on the bridge. There are no signs of life in the engine room or on deck. A scene from a horror film ...

New technique controls fluids at the nanoscale

Jun 30, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have revealed a revolutionary method of pumping fluid at the nanoscale level that has potential use for desalinating water and lab-on-a-chip ...

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0