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Airbus Unveils its "Smarter Skies" Vision for the Future of Sustainable Aviation

Zothecula (1870348) writes | more than 2 years ago

Transportation 1

Zothecula (1870348) writes "A new report drafted by Airbus as part of its “Smarter Skies” initiative sees the aircraft manufacturing company looking toward 2050 and beyond, in order to consider what can be done to meet the expected growth in future air travel sustainably. The ambitious plans put forward include assisted take-off, free-glide landings, and aircraft flying in formation."
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Here's what's missing (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | more than 2 years ago | (#41290627)

1 - BWB aircraft (Blended Wing Body) - There's no reason all new aircraft shouldn't be BWB much sooner than 2050 (20% fuel savings)
2 - At least 80% composite construction (bare minimum)
3 - Extensive presence of CNT (Carbon Nanotubes) to make composite materials stronger, allowing for thinner composite structures (item 2+item 3 at least another 10% fuel savings)
4 - Usage of GPS+Galileo+GLONASS+...+SBAS calculated position (including altitude) for very high density utilization of strong tail wind areas / terminal navigation - 500ft vertical separation (along with 3nm lateral) for at least ten fold increase in traffic density
5 - Worldwide near realtime satellite radar
6 - Satellite based CAT IIIa landings, using triple constellation, dual frequency SBAS (using FLIR to see the ground, allowing for FLIR + SBAS based zero/zero landings)
7 - Air traffic control data link commands only require confirmation from the pilot, confirmation from the pilot inputs the changes into the autopilot / FMS
8 - Constant climb cruise (like the Concorde operated once supersonic), allowing for 10% fuel savings for long flights, once aircraft reach its initial optimum cruising altitute, aircraft continue to climb constantly, using ADS-B and advanced air traffic control to predict traffic conflicts and gently turn to avoid such conflicts, the current 2000ft step climbs waste a lot of fuel for long flights, (taking off with enough fuel for the step climbs, but climbing constantly saves about 1/3, while actually taking on 10% less fuel and climbing constantly saves the other 2/3 or so)
9 - some sort of nuclear propulsion (cold fusion)

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