Pushing the Boundaries – That’s the Phrase for Aircrafts Future

Pushing the Boundaries – That’s the Phrase for Aircrafts Future!

Year 2014 has surely been a year of innovation as far as research and development for Aircrafts is concerned. 
Whether it is hybrid planes which can recharge its 
batteries while in Air or windowless planes, or jets that could split into three mid-Air; the industry is striving to increase the fuel efficiency, reduce costs and improve technologies. The cost of technology however, is currently so high that these advancements remain for the rich, but how the companies will scale the economies will eventually result in the desired cost effectiveness.

In October this year, a UK aerospace firm has released images of its windowless plane concept in which display screens show the environment outside the plane as 
well as films and video conferencing. Windowless planes could revolutionize Air travel as Airlines seek to reduce their spending on fuel and new supersonic Aircraft are developed. 

A French design agency released renderings in August showing its proposed design for a private jet completely devoid of windows in its fuselage. 

Instead, the cabin would be lined with thin screens that could display surrounding vistas or screen films and work presentations.  Technicon Design says that removing windows from Aircrafts will reduce their weight, thus reducing fuel and maintenance costs and living designers greater opportunities to enhance and beautify their interiors. Gareth Davies, chief designer at Technicon Design, the company behind the concept, said: “The future technology would hopefully allow people to display whatever images they wanted, the content only being "limited by your imagination."

An US engineering firm Spike Aerospace is planning to launch a windowless cabin on 
board its luxury Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet in 2018, which the company says will also feature display screen technology.

The innovations and research however has no boundaries and there is a lot of scope to improvise on the Aircrafts internals.  Cambridge scientists have recently invented world's first hybrid plane that can recharge its batteries while it's Flying. 

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested the first Aircraft to be powered by a parallel hybrid-electric system. 
“Although hybrid cars have been available for more than a decade, what’s been holding back the development of hybrid or fully-electric Aircraft until now is battery technology,” said Dr Paul Robertson of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, who led the project. Until recently, they have been too heavy and didn’t have enough energy capacity. But with the advent of improved lithium-polymer batteries, similar to what you’d find in a laptop computer, hybrid Aircraft – albeit at a small scale – are now 
starting to become viable.” 
“Our mission is to keep our sights on finding innovative solutions and technologies that solve our industry’s toughest challenges and continually improve environmental  performance,” said Marty Bradley, Boeing’s principal investigator for the programme. “Hybrid electric is one of several important elements of our research efforts, and we are learning more every day about the feasibility of these technologies and how they could be used in the future.”

These advancements are definitely promising because if all the engines and all the fuel in a modern jetliner were to be replaced by batteries, it would have a total Flying Time of roughly ten minutes.

Er Jigna Shah  [BE, MBA] 
Sub Editor