To stay ahead of the curve, I’m always scouring the science section of my local paper for interesting tidbits on technology in development. I recently came across this exciting story: Did you know that by 2050, planes could operate in the same way as your hybrid car? Thanks to Boeing’s SUGAR Volt: Subsonic Ultra-Green Aircraft Research, this could soon be a reality.
“There was a time at a conference on advanced aircraft technologies when somebody stood up and said, ‘What about electric airplanes?’ and everybody laughed—and that was only about five years ago,” said Boeing Research and Technology technical fellow Marty Bradley. “So we took that as a challenge.”
Boeing’s research started out as an attempt to create an airplane powered by an electric motor and batteries and resulted in a design that uses a combination of electrical power and conventional fuel. During take-off, traditional energy sources are used, but electricity then supplements or replaces the power during flight. It reduces the amount of fuel burned by 70 percent.
The future of Boeing’s aircraft transportation also needed a little tweaking. Extra-long wings allow for greater lift, less drag, and a shorter take-off. The long wings fold so the aircraft can be used at the existing gates of traditional airports. Boeing’s making the point: If you’re going green, might as well go green in style. Check out the first ANA Biofuel flight.blog comments powered by Disqus