Jul 24, 2008

Fuel-saving Aircraft designed by Students

NASA announced last week the results of 2008 Fundamental Aeronautics Student Competition. This year students were asked to think about a revolution in aircraft, a vehicle that could become a next generation DC-3 type of transport vehicle. A team of 8 students from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta won the graduate student section of the competition. And the Undergraduate team awards went to a team of 6 students from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.

The contest asked students to create a future subsonic transport aircraft that could carry up to 50,000 pounds, operate on runways between 1,500 and 3,000 feet long, and cruise at speeds between 595 and 625 mph - about the average speed of airliners today. The competition also stressed that the concept planes should be powered by alternative fuels and be quieter and more environmentally friendly than present commercial aircrafts.

The above picture shows the concept energy-efficient aircraft designed by the winning team. This concept plane will use battery power during take off. It will reduce noise and the electric propellers used for an initial boost would fold into the plane after takeoff to reduce drag. Definitely, we need some fuel-saving aircrafts, that are both eco-friendly and powerful.


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