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Cambridge-MIT invented soundless Aircraft

A futuristic new jet hopes to be the biggest revolution in commercial aircraft design in fifty years. With a radical new shape, its designers believe it will use 25 percent less fuel that today's planes and be no louder than a car driving down your street. The research team from the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a collaboration between the two universities and backed by the British government, have spent the last seven years working on a "silent" jet, focussing on noise reduction as the primary design point. The result is a design unlike the cylindrical fuselage of today's passenger aircraft that it is hoped will be 25 decibels quieter. Resembling a single flying wing, the jet, called the SAX-40, incorporates a "blended-wing" design that smoothly blends the conventional wings of a plane into a wide tailless body.

Instead of wing-mounted engines, the SAX-40 has been designed with the air in-takes embedded into the top of the plane, shielding people on the ground from any engine noise. The engines themselves would be mounted deep within the in-take ducts and heavily insulated. Another noise-countering feature is the incorporation of a trailing wing edge - long, thin protrusions from the back of the wing - that make the transition between turbulent and non-turbulent air much smoother.

These features should ensure a quieter ride for passengers, and those on the ground, but there are further innovations that would please people living under airport flight paths. On slower approaches to airports, the airframe of a plane makes as much noise as the engine -- most of it coming from the flaps and lowered undercarriage. The SAX-40 design has eliminated flaps and simplified the undercarriage.

Instead the plane will have a drooped leading edge that will create extra lift, an innovation that Airbus have incorporated in its A380 superjumbo. With the predicted tripling of air passengers in the next 30 years there is a strong case to be made for quieter jets, as airports will not be able to increase capacity unless they respect their surrounding communities and local noise pollution levels.

Read more at the source.

Tags: Airlines Aircrafts Engineering Science Inventions Aerospace Engineering
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