NASA Hybrid Wing Design Airplanes


Within the turn of the century, aerospace technology has evolved by leaps and bounds and thus making air travel safer, faster and more convenient. With engineers and strategists in constant search to make things go out of the box of that we deem conventional, NASA took it by themselves to start the ball rolling by devising a unique concept that would, in the future revolutionize our idea of airplanes as the main source of air transport. 

According to NASA, the word “hybrid wing” may be in close production and should it come into full bloom, it will greatly cut a plane’s fuel consumption in half and also, provide its passengers with added safety and a more relaxed trip on the way to their destination. Fay Collier said that “ultra-high bypass ratio engine” could do such claims and maybe even more, but it’ll take some time – 20 years give or take, for it to hit mass production. With such a long way to go, Collier, a program manager in NASA was also quick to assess that his company’s “manufacturing method” could aid conventional planes with such benefits within the next 8 to 10 years. 20 years is indeed a long way to, but at least NASA is on to something that is fathomable and can easily be anticipated. 

 To put things in perspective, the vision of a hybrid wing can easily be associated with highly recognizable Stealth Bomber aircraft – a futuristic vessel that can literally go the extra mile because of its aerodynamic design and lightweight material. But when it comes to passenger planes, this blueprint is somewhat untouchable as of yet since companies also look for comfort of their passengers – one of the primary trademarks that they should utilize. To make this dream commercial friendly, NASA came up with a manufacturing strategy that coincides with the traditional hybrid wing design. It begins with carbon fiber rods with foam strips in between. These are then bounded together with even more carbon fiber and thereby creating a “structural crossmember”. The material is then further strengthened by epoxy resin and, according to a source can reduce an aircraft’s weight by 25%. By 2015, NASA aims to complete a 30 foot, two-door structure that could assess their claims when it is exposed to real life situations. To compensate with the design, a similarly adept engine should also be considered. Ultra high bypass engines – also known as profans, still retains their traditional “turbo” drawing but with a handful of twisted propellers at the back. These engines will be then placed at the top of the plane and thereby limiting unnecessary noise inside the fuselage.

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