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The Future of Flight (Obese Pelicans to Shape-Shifting Switchblades)

Converting our world's cars to hybrids, electrics and viagra 50mg hydrogen powered may turn out to be a far more simple task than reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned by flight. But we're not gonna stop flying just because it's bad for the planet. Packages need to be shipped. Bombs need to be dropped. EcoGeeks need to visit their moms.

So today we're looking at the future of fuel-efficient flight. From just-around-the-corner to buy levitra cheap us the far-fetched ridiculous possibilities....and we'll hit them in that order.



Starting with the least far-fetched, because it already exists, is the freaking humongous Airbus A380 Super-Jumbo. When you have to add a modifier to the word “Jumbo” to describe an aircraft, you can assume more than 500 seats... and it might as well have a 2 story fuselage. The A380 saves fuel-per-person by adding more people, not by any innovative efficiency techniques. Nonetheless, it's worth a look.


Boeing, on the other hand, has several innovative designs for increasing the efficiency of only here cheap prescription levitra small planes in the short-term...and they've named them after Muppets. 

fozzieThe Fozzie's engines have moved from the wing to the tail, increasing aerodynamic efficiency, while the low-fuel open-rotor engines also reduce emissions. The Fozzie trades speed for efficiency, but if the flights are cheaper, I don't see anyone minding traveling at a dawdling 450 mph.

Boeing's Honeydew could be considered a blended wing body (discussed a bit later), though the 'delta' wing is less blended than most BWB's, especially as it still contains that efficiency hog, the tail. Tails are hard to get rid of, as aircraft tend to become much less stable without them, but the aerospace industry is working on it.


True Blended Wing Body aircraft do not have tales and eschew the ordering levitra overnight delivery notion that planes should be tubes with wings. If the entire aircraft is converted to a wing, efficiency skyrockets (think Stealth Bomber). But it's hard to fit several hundred people into a wing (unless it is a very very big wing) so all of the major aircraft companies are working on planes that blend the flying wing concept with something that also has enough of a bulge to house a few hundred people and still be 30% more efficient than traditional planes.



The first flying wings proposed were gigantic, seating more than 800 people, but newer models have been shown to cheap viagra professional increase efficiency at much more manageable sizes (200 to 500 seats). But the blended wing body still has to overcome dramatic loss of stability and the lack of a tail rudder. Also, it turns out to be much more difficult to pressurize a blended wing body than a traditional tube with wings.

As we border on the ridiculous, I can't help but bring up next generation cargo planes that invariably carry the names of sea-faring creatures. Both the walrus and the pelican promise efficient inter-continental freight-travel, but they have dramatically different designs.

Boeing's Pelican design is a more traditional plane, though it's method of transport is quite peculiar. In order to efficiently carry 1,400 tons of cargo, the pelican actually surfs on a bubble of high pressure air created by it's wings. Of course, to do this, it must fly between 20 and 40 feet above the ocean. Utilizing this 'ground effect' doubles the efficiency of the airplane.


The Walrus, on the other hand, almost completely ignores current ideas of aviation. Basically, it's a blimp with wings. Since the Hindenburg, we've pretty much ignored the possibilities that blimps might provide. By eliminating the cialis in canada need to provide lift, blimps are far more efficient than airplanes, but also generally much slower. The Walrus, being a cargo craft would not really need to travel all that quickly and, as it's capable of bearing a 500-ton load across half the world without refueling, and then landing without a runway, it could be a very convenient cargo transport. Of course, right now only its military applications are being studied. But turning a squadron of these beasts into a shipping fleet could possibly reduce our dependence on highway systems as well as trans-oceanic freight barges.


Last, we must mention the gravity-powered flier. A testament to ingenuity, and the only emissions-free cgravitypoweredaircraftsmommercial aircraft ever seriously studied. The plane, which we've discussed here before, basically operates as a blimp as it ascends, then, when it reaches its peak, it compresses the helium, and uses the power of gravity to propel it forward.

This would, of course, be a slow process, but nonetheless, an emissions-free aircraft. Someone needs to tell their web designer to remove himself from the early '90's, but you can check out their page here.


Possibly farthest away of all of these airborne transport options is the oblique wing aircraft. While this baby looks weird and may prove to cheapest viagra online be near-impossible to control, the efficiency of an oblique wing aircraft at super-sonic speeds is believed to be unsurpassed. We won't try to explain why that is, because we have no idea.

The most frequently proposed oblique-wing aircraft is the 'switchblade' bomber that could slowly circle outside enemy territory for days as a traditional flying wing before converting to an oblique wing configuration and striking in its super-sonic mode.

Kinda cool, but pretty lame that we need the bomber excuse to design an aircraft with amazing super-sonic efficiency.


And there we have the next hundred years of aviation. In the next fifty years, planes simply won't look like planes anymore. And then, after that, I suppose they'll start to resemble Muppets, pelicans and cialis online in usa switchblades. Until then, those of us who care are just gonna have to skip that trip to Vegas and maybe miss our cousin's wedding.

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Comments (11)Add Comment
Boeing\'s Pelican
written by a guest, July 11, 2006
The idea of Boeing's Pelican surface effect plane has already been tried by the Russians, who built a full size prototype, it wasn't terribly successful.

Why can't we use large gliders, like those used for troop movements in WWII, although landing does seem to be a problem, but who minds the lowest viagra prices from us pharmacy odd crash, if the tickets are cheap.

Rob. :)
written by a guest, July 21, 2006
Of course you’re not touching truly radical ideas like gravity lifters or spaceplane’s. If we can solve the problems of efficient orbital insertion, we can finally use the method for mass air travel. In theory low orbital flight can take you anywhere in the world without using much fuel, its just achieving the initial orbital velocity that’s so difficult.

If you look forward one hundred years there is no predicting what might be possible, even gravity engines. At the moment a huge amount of physics is still totally up in the air and there are at least four or five completely different competing models of gravity (i.e. relativity, quantum gravity, m-theory gravity, string theory gravity, hyperspace gravity (the one I‘m working on), zero point gravity, etc. etc.)

- Lucien
\'Carbon Fiber\' Pelicans
written by a guest, August 01, 2006
Seriously, with some of the new composite materials being tested, the foregoing renditions may be coming to fruition soon ! :-)

Paul S.
solar panel planes
written by a guest, August 22, 2006
What if those planes had solar panels all over them? they wouldn't need to use so much power from the engines. ... You know what bothers me? why are all planes white? I mean, is it beacause it's the cheapest paint or what? ... The Lifter rules!
written by Dude, February 16, 2007
;D >:( :( :o 8) :P :- :-* :'( :) ;) :D
think like buckminster fuller
written by bob dobbs, April 19, 2007
nevermind star trek -- focus on what matters: minimize energy and side effects (eg: pollution), optimize transportation volumes to real-world (post china+wal-mart) human and cargo transit needs.

battleship sized blimps and mobile refrigerator tuk-tuks.

worry about space ships, levitation and wormhole transport until we've got the present problems solved by optimizing present solutions. read buckminster fuller, da__it
New gearturbine - Retyrodynamic
written by Carlos Barrera, May 25, 2007
I inform aboute the new Gearturbine, power by barr, with retrodynamic dextrogiro vs levogiro effect, an non parasitic looses system and viagra usa over-unit engine. To see dtails:
The Future of Flight (Obese Pelicans to
written by chezen suede, August 24, 2007
interesting thing to read.I meant to be adding a comment,but pardon my asking a question.Do you know the order cheap cialis common planes used in airfreighting short shelflife food.can you say something about their energy or carbon efficiency.Are we seeing new planes being introduced such as the boeing dream liner.
Are aircraft users cahing in on ordering cialis overnight delivery carbon trade?
Cheap Tickets
written by SpiceWorld, December 02, 2007
Those thinking the tickets will actually be cheaper are wrong ... I mean, although they would go down half the amount, they're still going to be for millionaires
sup my hommies
written by helga, January 22, 2008
i like airplanes ;D
written by eeky geeky, April 13, 2008

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