Breaking News – Nasa is building a super-efficient turboelectric plane

Breaking News  - Nasa is building a super-efficient turboelectric plane
Nasa is developing a hybrid jetliner harvests air flowing along the body of the plane to create power.The futuristic jet could have more thrust with 10 per cent increase in efficiency, paving the way for the next generation of super-efficient air travel, experts claim.This will allow it to travel farther than traditional planes with the same amount of fuel.With this new design, which is due to enter early-stage testing in the coming months, the fan collects the air accelerates it and in doing so generates additional propulsion.The STARC-ABL concept, developed by NASA’s Jim Felder and Jason Welstead, is under consideration as one of NASA’s future experimental ‘X-planes’.It looks similar to the proven tube-and-wing aircraft you see every day.But, unlike those aircraft, a significant amount of electrical power, approximately three megawatts, is used for turboelectric propulsion.Wing-mounted engines supply 80 per cent of the thrust required during take-off and 55 per cent at cruise.The tail-mounted all-electric (boundary-layer ingesting) BLI turbofan accounts for the remaining thrust.In a conventional aircraft air clings to the body of the plane, writesNew Atlas, but with this new design air is transformed into power.To drive the fan, two smaller engines provide thrust and electricity.With the addition of the rear motor, the wing-mountain engines can be smaller as they don’t need to generate as much thrust.Smaller engines weigh less and produce less drag, reducing the amount of fuel required.Researchers predict a potential fuel consumption improvement of roughly 10 percent using this innovative system.An early concept of the STARC-ABL plane is going to be tested in the next few months at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.This is part of Nasa’s New Aviation Horizons initiative to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise.To provide better efficiency with less noise and fewer emissions, Nasa is also set to develop unique vehicle concepts that will use different fuselage shapes; longer, skinnier and more blended wings.’I feel we are at a tipping point in commercial aviation,’ said Jim Heidmann, manager of NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology Project (AATT).’We are exploring and developing game-changing technologies and concepts for aircraft and propulsion systems that can dramatically improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact and accelerate the introduction of new aircraft.’In June Nasa announced it could begin work on its supersonic X-plane as early as next year.The Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator aims to produce a much lower ‘boom’ than other supersonic aircraft, and NASA is hoping to see the first flight tests take place in 2021, according to Aviation Week.Lockheed Martin has been working on the preliminary design, with hopes to move on to build the demonstrator, but NASA has now opened the door for other companies to submit their own designs as well.The space agency is hoping to achieve a sonic boom 60 dBA lower than other supersonic aircraft, such as Concorde, according to Aviation Week.The space agency is looking for plans to develop, build, and flight test an X-plane, and will award a contract in 2018.Lockheed Martin, however, is hoping to secure the top spot.’We are ready to go on building that demonstrator,’ said Rob Weiss, Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs executive vice president and general manager, at the AIAA Aviation 2017 forum, Aviation Week reports.’We feel we h1

Breaking News – Nasa is building a super-efficient turboelectric plane