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kitplane01
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Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:02 am

Recently we have seen the widespread adoption of carbon fiber and geared turbofans. We are about to see folding wingtips.

Next might come...

Ducted fans: Higher bypass ratio than a normal dan, better noise than props or inducted fans

Unducted fans: even better bypass ratio but problems with noise control.

Active laminier flow: By having air inlets on the wings and control surfaces one can reduce drag

Morphing Wings: Instead of flaps built on the normal way ... use a flexible skin and an internal structure. Supposed to reduce drab by more than 10% and has already flown.

New airplane configuration: blended wing/body aircraft
 
1989worstyear
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:32 am

I could see more research going into replacing APU's with fuel cells. I remeber Airbus retrofitted the 1986 A320 prototype with an experimental fuel cell system - can't remember what came of it.

Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation - I see the Chinese taking the lead on hybrid aircraft.
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:37 am

- BWB: We've been "about to see" BWB for decades now. It seems to be harder than it looks at first glance. Evacuation issues and g-loads for cargo/pax far from the centerline are not trivial issues.
- Morphing wings are definitely an interesting area. A half-way step is the more advanced use of existing flight controls already seen today. Spoilers which droop down a bit with flap extension in order to seal a gap. Flaps which extend in flight to more the center of pressure...
- Unducted fans. Maybe. There is some interesting research presently, and aero modeling has come a long way since the earlier experiments some decades ago.
- Ducted fans. Well, we already have those, and bypass ratios are increasing. So not really new.
- Folding wingtips. Not a breakthrough really. Just a clever solution to gate space and taxiway clearance issues.

1989worstyear wrote:
Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation - I see the Chinese taking the lead on hybrid aircraft.


I bet every generation in history has bemoaned the goals and interests of the next one... And yet progress seems to keep on going on...

Back in the 80s, D&D was the big issue of the time. In the 60s it was flower power. In the 70s it was... comic books? There's always something.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:27 am

1989worstyear wrote:
I could see more research going into replacing APU's with fuel cells. I remeber Airbus retrofitted the 1986 A320 prototype with an experimental fuel cell system - can't remember what came of it.

Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation - I see the Chinese taking the lead on hybrid aircraft.



Hard to picture. Unless it weighs less and can run on standard jet fuel ...
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:01 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
- BWB: We've been "about to see" BWB for decades now. It seems to be harder than it looks at first glance. Evacuation issues and g-loads for cargo/pax far from the centerline are not trivial issues.


I think it's technically not all that difficult and if your fly-by-wire is doing its job then g-loads would not be an issue either.

I think the real reason we've seen no progress on non-standard configurations is simply the enourmous mountain of regulatory paperwork and testing that that would require. You'd basically have to pay (in money, time, engineering resources - and probably undiscovered issues) so the new configuration can catch up to the 50+ experience gained on wing-and-tube before you're allowed to sell it.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
kurtverbose
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:02 pm

I see big oportunities in how planes are operated at airports.

I'm going to introduce a new airport vehicle which I'll call AARDVARK1 (airport aircraft recover disembark vehicle also release o'K 1). This is an electrically powered vehicle - charged by the airport infrastructure so it doesn't need a large battery.

It picks up the passengers and luggage from the gate. It then drives out to meet the landing aircraft, which it docks with. It collects the disembarking passengers and luggage, refuels and does any service checks and embarks the new passengers. At the same time it's taxiing the aircraft to the correct end of the departure runway. This is a moving turnaround.

No APU needs to run. No main engines need to run. Turnaround times are startlingly good. Long wings are less of a problem. This wouldn't require big changes to existing aircraft.

Next stage - AARDVARK2. I forget what this stands for, but has all the features of ARDVARK1, plus....

....Aircraft will not need most of their landing/takeoff equipment. Heavy landing gear, slats, flaps, airbrakes, thrust reversers.

To take off AARDVARK2 will remain docked to the aircraft and will provide the excess power above climb thrust needed for takeoff. Without flaps, takeoff speed will be high, but this won't be a problem (hopefully). Any failure at takeoff will not be a problem as takeoff will be aborted and AARDVARK2 will have the stopping ability within the runway length.

To land AARDVARK2 will winch the plane down for docking and recover the landing energy as electricity.

I will admit AARDVARK2 would be considerably more difficult than AARDVARK1.

I also admit my acronym isn't very good.
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:49 pm

I suspect the next advancement would be improved software and redundancies such that single pilot operation becomes feasible and safe for many occasions, airlines would eat up the potential crew cost savings and less space allocated towards the cockpit == more space allocated to revenue generating passengers.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:01 pm

JustSomeDood wrote:
I suspect the next advancement would be improved software and redundancies such that single pilot operation becomes feasible and safe for many occasions, airlines would eat up the potential crew cost savings and less space allocated towards the cockpit == more space allocated to revenue generating passengers.


Yes but who would I chat to?!?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kurtverbose
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:41 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
Yes but who would I chat to?!?


Well, you wouldn't have much to do with all that automation. You could spend your time posting on A.net. :D
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Next important technology?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:55 pm

"Single panel" instrument panel for each pilot, all flight data. Pinch and zoom as you like. Converts to game console. Allows any pilot to fly multiple en-route aircraft. Drone pilots become interchangeable with "real" pilots, or in the alternative, all pilots become drone pilots, some of which are airborne. [/humour]
 
Nean1
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:51 am

I would be looking at solutions with electric motors that are coming up to allow the taxiing of aircraft without the use of propulsion engines, saving fuel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EGTS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WheelTug
 
ABpositive
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:33 am

Starlionblue wrote:
JustSomeDood wrote:
I suspect the next advancement would be improved software and redundancies such that single pilot operation becomes feasible and safe for many occasions, airlines would eat up the potential crew cost savings and less space allocated towards the cockpit == more space allocated to revenue generating passengers.


Yes but who would I chat to?!?


There will be a bot for that. But I do think this will be the next major evolution in aviation.
What about 3D printing for management of some spare parts.
 
stratclub
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:58 am

Folding wing tips were on option on the B-777 at enter to service In 1995. No operator yet have bought the option most likely because of the weight penalty. Tobarless tugs capable of towing an aircraft to the runway threshold are already in common use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nopHgXojb8
Last edited by stratclub on Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
stratclub
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:06 am

JustSomeDood wrote:
I suspect the next advancement would be improved software and redundancies such that single pilot operation becomes feasible and safe for many occasions, airlines would eat up the potential crew cost savings and less space allocated towards the cockpit == more space allocated to revenue generating passengers.

We have the ability right now with the military. They are called UAV's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle and if the FAA allowed their use for airlines to use, the cockpit could be eliminated. The military UAV's already fly unmanned missions half way around the planet.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:19 pm

kurtverbose wrote:
I see big oportunities in how planes are operated at airports.

I'm going to introduce a new airport vehicle which I'll call AARDVARK1 (airport aircraft recover disembark vehicle also release o'K 1). This is an electrically powered vehicle - charged by the airport infrastructure so it doesn't need a large battery.

It picks up the passengers and luggage from the gate. It then drives out to meet the landing aircraft, which it docks with. It collects the disembarking passengers and luggage, refuels and does any service checks and embarks the new passengers. At the same time it's taxiing the aircraft to the correct end of the departure runway. This is a moving turnaround.

No APU needs to run. No main engines need to run. Turnaround times are startlingly good. Long wings are less of a problem. This wouldn't require big changes to existing aircraft.

Next stage - AARDVARK2. I forget what this stands for, but has all the features of ARDVARK1, plus....

....Aircraft will not need most of their landing/takeoff equipment. Heavy landing gear, slats, flaps, airbrakes, thrust reversers.

To take off AARDVARK2 will remain docked to the aircraft and will provide the excess power above climb thrust needed for takeoff. Without flaps, takeoff speed will be high, but this won't be a problem (hopefully). Any failure at takeoff will not be a problem as takeoff will be aborted and AARDVARK2 will have the stopping ability within the runway length.

To land AARDVARK2 will winch the plane down for docking and recover the landing energy as electricity.

I will admit AARDVARK2 would be considerably more difficult than AARDVARK1.

I also admit my acronym isn't very good.


I have had some wonderings along this line. Airplanes fly through the air with the greatest of ease, but on the ground they leave Albatrosses nothing to covet. Getting passengers to their plane via having all the albatrosses coming to a (or a few) central points is inherently awkward, uncomfortable, stressful and is the leading cause of what we don't like about flying. Planes do OK landing and taking off but a better way to avoid as much excess taxiing as possible involves a better way of airport security, planing, deplaning, baggage and et cetera.

I have pictures in my mind runways separated by large very wide taxi-ways with perpendicular subways dropping passengers off at stations every few blocks under each taxi-way. In effect dozens of mini-terminals. A perimeter highway takes you to the appropriate subway. Transfer passengers would be served by a subway parallel to the taxiway. This is obviously a daydream, but maybe worth pursueing.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
WIederling
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:58 pm

stratclub wrote:
The military UAV's already fly unmanned missions half way around the planet.


Their loss rate is still excessively high. ( And not from being shot at ).
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... /database/
Murphy is an optimist
 
VSMUT
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:21 pm

I think the next big revolution will be electric propulsion, either from batteries or hybrid electric systems.

I doubt that single pilot aircraft will ever be a thing. The redundancy required in case of a pilot incapacitation means that we will go straight from 2 pilots to none at all. I don't see this happening for the next 20 years though, based on the lifespan and development cycles of commercial aircraft. Using the proposed 797/MoM as an example: The technology isn't there yet, so it will almost certainly be manned. Development will take somewhere between 5 and 10 years, it will last in production for at least 20 years, and the last example will probably be in service for at least 20 years. Thats the next 50 years covered right there.

IMHO, folding wingtips will be a flop. My guess is that most 777X operators will end up locking them permanently in place and relying on bigger gates.


1989worstyear wrote:
Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation


BS.

I see much more interest from the so called "millennials" than previous generations. Has it dawned on you yet that some of those apps and shiny bling sh** are about aviation?
 
airzona11
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:47 pm

VSMUT wrote:
I think the next big revolution will be electric propulsion, either from batteries or hybrid electric systems.

I doubt that single pilot aircraft will ever be a thing. The redundancy required in case of a pilot incapacitation means that we will go straight from 2 pilots to none at all. I don't see this happening for the next 20 years though, based on the lifespan and development cycles of commercial aircraft. Using the proposed 797/MoM as an example: The technology isn't there yet, so it will almost certainly be manned. Development will take somewhere between 5 and 10 years, it will last in production for at least 20 years, and the last example will probably be in service for at least 20 years. Thats the next 50 years covered right there.

IMHO, folding wingtips will be a flop. My guess is that most 777X operators will end up locking them permanently in place and relying on bigger gates.


1989worstyear wrote:
Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation


BS.

I see much more interest from the so called "millennials" than previous generations. Has it dawned on you yet that some of those apps and shiny bling sh** are about aviation?


A single pilot with the technology for remote flying the plane if a pilot is incapacitated / autopilot technology is not a leap, it is really just a few upgrades away.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:55 pm

airzona11 wrote:
A single pilot with the technology for remote flying the plane if a pilot is incapacitated / autopilot technology is not a leap, it is really just a few upgrades away.


So what if the remote control link is lost? You see, unless those questions are resolved, it won't happen. And if the remote link is good enough to remote control it, why have the single pilot in the first place?
 
stratclub
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 pm

WIederling wrote:
stratclub wrote:
The military UAV's already fly unmanned missions half way around the planet.


Their loss rate is still excessively high. ( And not from being shot at ).
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... /database/

Oh, O.K. Must be why we're nowhere near using that technology for hauling people yet. But just like driver-less cars, the technology is already here, they just have to work out the failsafe's. Still a lot of work to do yet with what they know so far about drones. At least we have learned some lessons from this FUBAR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cv2ud1339E
 
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Faro
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:55 pm

Spiroids anyone!...


Faro
The chalice not my son
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:58 pm

I agree with the comments about single pilot operation. While it is technically feasible, I don't think it is happening in the near future.

Pilot incapacitation in various forms is perhaps the most common non-normal situation that faces pilots. More importantly, even well-trained pilots make errors every few hundred actions. Not serious errors, but little things like starting to wind a knob the wrong way before realising the mistake. This is why we have a pilot monitoring, and checklists, and a host of other safety features. Take away the PM and you remove the primary safety net.

VSMUT wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
A single pilot with the technology for remote flying the plane if a pilot is incapacitated / autopilot technology is not a leap, it is really just a few upgrades away.


So what if the remote control link is lost? You see, unless those questions are resolved, it won't happen. And if the remote link is good enough to remote control it, why have the single pilot in the first place?


I'll add: How do you detect incapacitation? If a pilot falls asleep quietly in the seat, it might not always be that noticeable. You now have to design some sort of sensor suite, and the system has to figure out if it was just a micronap etc..

It gets more complicated by the fact that getting up to stretch our legs periodically is one of the best ways to stave off fatigue effects which can lead to incapacitation. Another is chatting to the guy next to me.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
airzona11
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:39 am

VSMUT wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
A single pilot with the technology for remote flying the plane if a pilot is incapacitated / autopilot technology is not a leap, it is really just a few upgrades away.


So what if the remote control link is lost? You see, unless those questions are resolved, it won't happen. And if the remote link is good enough to remote control it, why have the single pilot in the first place?


The second part of your question is a fair question. The first part is simple, no pilot, the plane has an autoland feature, where it goes into self flying mode. We use the technology with unmanned planes already today. Have a protocol established for what happens.
 
airzona11
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:42 am

Starlionblue wrote:
I agree with the comments about single pilot operation. While it is technically feasible, I don't think it is happening in the near future.

Pilot incapacitation in various forms is perhaps the most common non-normal situation that faces pilots. More importantly, even well-trained pilots make errors every few hundred actions. Not serious errors, but little things like starting to wind a knob the wrong way before realising the mistake. This is why we have a pilot monitoring, and checklists, and a host of other safety features. Take away the PM and you remove the primary safety net.

VSMUT wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
A single pilot with the technology for remote flying the plane if a pilot is incapacitated / autopilot technology is not a leap, it is really just a few upgrades away.


So what if the remote control link is lost? You see, unless those questions are resolved, it won't happen. And if the remote link is good enough to remote control it, why have the single pilot in the first place?


I'll add: How do you detect incapacitation? If a pilot falls asleep quietly in the seat, it might not always be that noticeable. You now have to design some sort of sensor suite, and the system has to figure out if it was just a micronap etc..

It gets more complicated by the fact that getting up to stretch our legs periodically is one of the best ways to stave off fatigue effects which can lead to incapacitation. Another is chatting to the guy next to me.


Biometric devices have long been around that solve for that. That has already been solved for. If a pilot wears the sensor, doesn't matter if they get up.

We have the technology for fully-automated flight today. It is more policy and procedures (legislation) that needs to evolve. It is a matter of stringing the existing technologies together. Not a moonshot.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:48 am

Technology wise, I agree. Doable today. However, is it economically reasonable? How much does the cost increase compared to two pilots? We aren't cheap to train, but the infrastructure investment for remote operation is massive.

Autoland is certainly done today, but it is not anywhere near the point where it is a trivial operation. We are permitted to autoland in part because there are two sets of eyes monitoring the operation. Bringing the automation up to even single pilot operation with maintained levels of safety would be a massive investment. It will happen someday, but it won't be soon.

Then there's the privacy aspect. I'd rather not wear a sensor potentially transmitting my biometric data to the company, and I don't think many of my colleagues would volunteer either.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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cpd
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:06 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Recently we have seen the widespread adoption of carbon fiber and geared turbofans. We are about to see folding wingtips.

Next might come...

Ducted fans: Higher bypass ratio than a normal dan, better noise than props or inducted fans

Unducted fans: even better bypass ratio but problems with noise control.

Active laminier flow: By having air inlets on the wings and control surfaces one can reduce drag

Morphing Wings: Instead of flaps built on the normal way ... use a flexible skin and an internal structure. Supposed to reduce drab by more than 10% and has already flown.

New airplane configuration: blended wing/body aircraft


One you didn't think of, more intelligent flight planning software, this can improve efficiency further. Some unconventional ideas on scheduling might reduce costs too, especially if you can take a hit on the departure time and then potentially avoid further delays down the line, excepting of course if you have high value cargo or passengers on board.

Your idea of reducing drag has been done in a way on the Lamborghini Huracan Performante road car, it has very much higher performance above 200km/h than one might normally expect of a 670hp car thanks to the tricks it uses to reduce drag on the rear wing (air channels).
 
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Semaex
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:36 am

Starlionblue wrote:
JustSomeDood wrote:
I suspect the next advancement would be improved software and redundancies such that single pilot operation becomes feasible and safe for many occasions, airlines would eat up the potential crew cost savings and less space allocated towards the cockpit == more space allocated to revenue generating passengers.


Yes but who would I chat to?!?

The dog ;)


I just read an interesting article about big data in the airline industry. Nothing new, but:
The concept of "predictive maintenance", where hundreds of sensors literally scan engines from the inside with radiowave-kind technology.
Seems like a small deal, but this will greatly increase MX schedules and thus reduce costs.
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast if you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:38 am

Optimising ATC coordination between and within countries is not a big deal technologically but would save massive amounts in fuel and the tears of frustrated pilots.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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cpd
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:25 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Optimising ATC coordination between and within countries is not a big deal technologically but would save massive amounts in fuel and the tears of frustrated pilots.


Bingo, you are thinking what I was hinting at before. Problem is, doing all of that and getting all ATC and different airlines to coordinate to the benefit of everyone will be a near impossible task.

I was at an RAeS event yesterday covering this very thing along with flight planning and how one airline is going forward with their own solution.

We've all heard of frustration with ATC in particular areas and the sometimes unconventional (even just silly) ideas they have to solve fairly routine issues.
 
txjim
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Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:30 am

kurtverbose wrote:
I see big oportunities in how planes are operated at airports.

I'm going to introduce a new airport vehicle which I'll call AARDVARK1 (airport aircraft recover disembark vehicle also release o'K 1). This is an electrically powered vehicle - charged by the airport infrastructure so it doesn't need a large battery.

It picks up the passengers and luggage from the gate. It then drives out to meet the landing aircraft, which it docks with. It collects the disembarking passengers and luggage, refuels and does any service checks and embarks the new passengers. At the same time it's taxiing the aircraft to the correct end of the departure runway. This is a moving turnaround.

No APU needs to run. No main engines need to run. Turnaround times are startlingly good. Long wings are less of a problem. This wouldn't require big changes to existing aircraft.

Next stage - AARDVARK2. I forget what this stands for, but has all the features of ARDVARK1, plus....

....Aircraft will not need most of their landing/takeoff equipment. Heavy landing gear, slats, flaps, airbrakes, thrust reversers.

To take off AARDVARK2 will remain docked to the aircraft and will provide the excess power above climb thrust needed for takeoff. Without flaps, takeoff speed will be high, but this won't be a problem (hopefully). Any failure at takeoff will not be a problem as takeoff will be aborted and AARDVARK2 will have the stopping ability within the runway length.

To land AARDVARK2 will winch the plane down for docking and recover the landing energy as electricity.

I will admit AARDVARK2 would be considerably more difficult than AARDVARK1.

I also admit my acronym isn't very good.


Perhaps we can incorporate the conveyor belt as well!
 
TSS
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Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:46 am

Nean1 wrote:
I would be looking at solutions with electric motors that are coming up to allow the taxiing of aircraft without the use of propulsion engines, saving fuel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EGTS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WheelTug


Those have been discussed at some length on here before, with the general consensus being that they add far too much weight and complexity for the percentage of the gate-to-gate trip during which they would be in use. A more logical and practical solution to the problem of using jet engines for taxiing purposes would be a fleet of diesel, electric, or hybrid "taxi tugs" to meet the aircraft just as it leaves the active runway and tow it all the way to the gate. Of course they'd probably have to be somewhat larger and faster than current models as well as very well-maintained and closely coordinated with ATC, but the technology is already there and can be implemented in no time if there is a will to do so.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
CowAnon
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Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:59 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
Recently we have seen the widespread adoption of carbon fiber and geared turbofans. We are about to see folding wingtips.


    New Chance for Fiber-Metal-Laminates (7/31/2016 - see bottom of page): In order to meet Airbus’ announced production target of 60+ aircraft/month, Premium AEROTEC established a development program to automate this process. Their target is 10,000 m2/mo, an increase of 50X, and a single-shot bonding process where sheet metal, prepreg, doublers and stringers are all co-cured in a single autoclave cycle.
    The resurgence of GLARE (8/18/2016): Airbus pursues fiber metal laminates for future narrowbody construction, citing cost, weight, repair and lightning strike benefits.
    Fiber-metal laminates in the spotlight (7/12/2017): Interest in FMLs is growing again as aeroengineers search for lightweight solutions adaptable to new narrowbody commercial aircraft.

I included these GLARE-related links in the A380-900NEO thread, but since the articles seem to imply that Airbus would be using GLARE on its narrowbodies in the near future instead of carbon, it bears repeating here. (Would Airbus be allowed to incorporate GLARE on the A320neo/A321neo instead of waiting for the A322 or a clean-sheet? The supplier ramp-up plans seem very aggressive.)

With that said, I bet the OEMs are excited about this latest bit of news about densified wood. The increased strength after wood densification is in the neighborhood of aluminum, but the density after processing is still only 1.3 g/cm3, less than half of the density of Al2024 (2.78 g/cm3), still much lower than GLARE (2.38-2.52 g/cm3), and lighter than carbon fiber (1.55-1.80 g/cm3?). If there aren't any showstoppers, the OEMs may not even have to bother with aluminum or carbon in the future.

Next might come...

Ducted fans: Higher bypass ratio than a normal dan, better noise than props or inducted fans

Unducted fans: even better bypass ratio but problems with noise control.


Weight Assessment for Fuselage Shielding on Aircraft With Open-Rotor Engines and Composite Blade Loss (NASA/FAA, December 2013)

Since the A320neo and B737max are raining orders and money on them, Airbus or Boeing won't bother doing an unducted fan, though I really hope some other company tries. NASA estimated that a composite fuselage would require only 236-428 pounds of shielding for the open rotor engines and 24 layers of composites (with a total thickness of 0.50 inches, or 12.7 millimeters). The link to the densified wood article contains a video of a 5-ply, 3-mm thick block of wood stopping a bullet at close range, so the increased ballistic resistance of the processed wood over carbon would mean less shielding thickness required and an even smaller weight penalty.
 
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kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 759
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:40 pm

CowAnon wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Recently we have seen the widespread adoption of carbon fiber and geared turbofans. We are about to see folding wingtips.


    New Chance for Fiber-Metal-Laminates (7/31/2016 - see bottom of page): In order to meet Airbus’ announced production target of 60+ aircraft/month, Premium AEROTEC established a development program to automate this process. Their target is 10,000 m2/mo, an increase of 50X, and a single-shot bonding process where sheet metal, prepreg, doublers and stringers are all co-cured in a single autoclave cycle.
    The resurgence of GLARE (8/18/2016): Airbus pursues fiber metal laminates for future narrowbody construction, citing cost, weight, repair and lightning strike benefits.
    Fiber-metal laminates in the spotlight (7/12/2017): Interest in FMLs is growing again as aeroengineers search for lightweight solutions adaptable to new narrowbody commercial aircraft.

I included these GLARE-related links in the A380-900NEO thread, but since the articles seem to imply that Airbus would be using GLARE on its narrowbodies in the near future instead of carbon, it bears repeating here. (Would Airbus be allowed to incorporate GLARE on the A320neo/A321neo instead of waiting for the A322 or a clean-sheet? The supplier ramp-up plans seem very aggressive.)

With that said, I bet the OEMs are excited about this latest bit of news about densified wood. The increased strength after wood densification is in the neighborhood of aluminum, but the density after processing is still only 1.3 g/cm3, less than half of the density of Al2024 (2.78 g/cm3), still much lower than GLARE (2.38-2.52 g/cm3), and lighter than carbon fiber (1.55-1.80 g/cm3?). If there aren't any showstoppers, the OEMs may not even have to bother with aluminum or carbon in the future.

Next might come...

Ducted fans: Higher bypass ratio than a normal dan, better noise than props or inducted fans

Unducted fans: even better bypass ratio but problems with noise control.


Weight Assessment for Fuselage Shielding on Aircraft With Open-Rotor Engines and Composite Blade Loss (NASA/FAA, December 2013)

Since the A320neo and B737max are raining orders and money on them, Airbus or Boeing won't bother doing an unducted fan, though I really hope some other company tries. NASA estimated that a composite fuselage would require only 236-428 pounds of shielding for the open rotor engines and 24 layers of composites (with a total thickness of 0.50 inches, or 12.7 millimeters). The link to the densified wood article contains a video of a 5-ply, 3-mm thick block of wood stopping a bullet at close range, so the increased ballistic resistance of the processed wood over carbon would mean less shielding thickness required and an even smaller weight penalty.


The best of this website is when someone tells you a brand new thought you’ve never had. I knew about densified would. I knew about airplanes. I certainly never connected them. If that works it would be a technology from completely left field yet seems completely doable. M

It’s not obvious why an open rotor airplanes to be protected from blade loss when a propeller airplane does not.
 
TSS
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Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:52 pm

Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:36 am

kitplane01 wrote:
It’s not obvious why an open rotor airplanes to be protected from blade loss when a propeller airplane does not.


At a guess it would be the much higher fan speeds of an open rotor. I'd imagine the individual blades of an open rotor propellor to be both tougher and sharper than those of a regular prop plane, too.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
zeeth
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:57 am

Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:53 am

Living next to major airport with a curfew (established for 1950s/60s era radial piston & turbojet cacaphonies), I thought that it was only medevac or the occasional private jet that was using the airport in the wee small hours. Turns out that there is a considerable procession of BAe 146 freight aircraft that use the one available over-water approach/departure path, that have sort of gotten around the curfew, despite the other end of the runway being relatively close to residential areas.
I wonder if it is possible that propulsion systems developed primarily for being quiet, integrated into perhaps otherwise unjustifiable airframe configurations, could become attractive enough to offset otherwise uneconomical designs? (The 146 needed to be quiet, with steep approach-departure & short field performance, it would not have looked the way does otherwise)
There are a lot of airports in the middle of cities or that have become surrounded by housing, with entrenched noise pollution standards. Is there a business case for a super-quiet aircraft? Will this help drive some of the above propulsion suggestions which might be initially marginal for other reasons?
 
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BawliBooch
Posts: 1102
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Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:46 am

Starlionblue wrote:
- BWB: We've been "about to see" BWB for decades now. It seems to be harder than it looks at first glance. Evacuation issues and g-loads for cargo/pax far from the centerline are not trivial issues.

I think an added issue with BWB will be airport infra. Much of the infra we have built up over the years, terminal buildings, gates etc, is built around the stand Dash-80 design - tube with wings.

BWB is going to have some serious induction issues wrt which airports it can efficiently operate out of.
L' Esprit de Mai 68
 
VSMUT
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:02 am

I think better ATC/flight plan systems would be quite significant. There should be no reason in this day and age why you shouldn't be able to request almost the
exact optimal flight level and routing. Let a computer figure out which routing and level gives you the lowest fuel burn from point A to point B based on all available weather information.
Better coordination between each country would also be useful. IMHO, we should be able to receive direct routings from one end of Europe to the other, not just from one end of the Czech Republic to the other.


Starlionblue wrote:
I'll add: How do you detect incapacitation? If a pilot falls asleep quietly in the seat, it might not always be that noticeable. You now have to design some sort of sensor suite, and the system has to figure out if it was just a micronap etc..

It gets more complicated by the fact that getting up to stretch our legs periodically is one of the best ways to stave off fatigue effects which can lead to incapacitation. Another is chatting to the guy next to me.


I'll add another one: How do you train new captains? Without any CM2 position, all new pilots would have to take command decisions right out of basic flying school.


airzona11 wrote:
The second part of your question is a fair question. The first part is simple, no pilot, the plane has an autoland feature, where it goes into self flying mode. We use the technology with unmanned planes already today. Have a protocol established for what happens.


It isn't that simple. What if the pilot nods off at a critical moment? How fast would the systems notice that? How quickly would the computer take over and do an auto-landing?


airzona11 wrote:
We have the technology for fully-automated flight today.


True, but the same technology will also happily blast you straight through the first killer-TCU in its way. A few days ago I had the de-icing system go inop on me. I only noticed by looking out of the window, we didn't get any warnings. The computer wouldn't have noticed that. It was pretty significant, because it was almost overcast that afternoon, and we had to weave our way down to avoid picking up any ice. Would the technology have been able to do that?
 
JustSomeDood
Posts: 202
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Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:01 pm

This would require extensive infrastructure support from airports and significant tech improvements, but....

At present, engines entirely propel an airplane through the takeoff roll, and are the biggest bottleneck to thrust level requirements for aircraft (engine sized for takeoff). Jet engines, all things considered, are also terrible at accelerating aircraft from a standstill efficiency wise. Enter electric motors, the same characteristics that make Teslas awesome at the drag strip (max torque at 0rpm), would also make them great at accelerating aircraft from standstill to low speeds. Then it stands to reason that putting electric motors (big ones) in the MLG to assist in takeoff roll would decrease engine thrust requirements, allowing for smaller engines for a given capacity aircraft, leading to greater fuel efficiency (feedback loop of engines->fuel->weight) and emissions.

Now let's do some calculations, for an A35k at MTOW (311t), assuming a takeoff roll of 40 seconds and takeoff speed of 170mph (reasonable?), average acceleration is ~1.9m/s^2, power = 311000*1.9m/s^2*38m/s~=22.4MW. Now let's say that, for a simple assumption, we want 30% of that power to be made by the motors, meaning it will help the most during low speeds before the constant force jets take over for acceleration. that means 6.7MW divided into 12 wheels is ~558kw per motor, certainly not infeasible, there are countless Teslas running around with motors that have nearly such output power, and the motors themselves aren't particularly heavy.

Notice that nothing has been said about batteries, and that's because since the motors are only used on the ground, there wouldn't be such a need for batteries (at least really heavy huge ones that kill electric commercial aircraft feasibility). With admittedly ginormous advancements in wireless electricity transmission tech, it's certainly feasible that runways can be made with electricity transmission capability which the aircraft receive while on takeoff.
 
airzona11
Posts: 1020
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am

Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:48 pm

VSMUT wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
We have the technology for fully-automated flight today.


True, but the same technology will also happily blast you straight through the first killer-TCU in its way. A few days ago I had the de-icing system go inop on me. I only noticed by looking out of the window, we didn't get any warnings. The computer wouldn't have noticed that. It was pretty significant, because it was almost overcast that afternoon, and we had to weave our way down to avoid picking up any ice. Would the technology have been able to do that?


Your last point I think is the crux of it. Retrofitting the technology to current planes is possible but would be exhaustive, still possible, but expensive. Planes would have to be built with the intention of 1 pilot/fully automated. In the defense sector, 1-pilot is common, fully automated is the future. This tech will continue to make its way over. Becuase the technology absolutely would be able to land safely if it knew the ice was there, in your example, the key would having systems that detected the icing.

And maybe a society, it is decided to keep 2 pilots, that is possible too. That is the real barrier, the technology is not.

Contrasting that with batteries, there needs to be some hefty innovation, batteries are heavy and once they've exhausted their energy are still present and heavy. So many efficiency gains can be had with gas-powered planes, engine technology, GPS routing, real-time plane to plane communication to optimize routing based on winds, etc. That is the lowest hanging fruit. It is happening to all other logistics based operations.
 
WIederling
Posts: 5899
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Re: Next important technology?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 pm

Exchange the wheel brakes for e-motors.
Have them run in generator mode while landing ( loading the juice into the electric anti ice )
Have them run in motor mode for take off and juice them up from the engine generators.
Wheel propulsion is much more efficient than reactive push from the engines.
Murphy is an optimist
 
VSMUT
Posts: 1624
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Next important technology?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:51 am

airzona11 wrote:
In the defense sector, 1-pilot is common, fully automated is the future.


If the defence sector is anything to go by, then 1-pilot or fully automated systems are a long way away. Accident statistics are atrocious for the military, and I read not too long ago that UAVs still have the same accident rates as they did during the Vietnam war. They have barely improved since then.


airzona11 wrote:
Becuase the technology absolutely would be able to land safely if it knew the ice was there, in your example, the key would having systems that detected the icing.


Except we have had those systems for ages already, and in this case it was those particular systems that failed, and the aircraft didn't even register it itself. A hypothetical auto-land system (which we also already have) would just have attempted a normal landing in icing conditions without ice protection. That ignores the possibility that the single pilot could get a stroke mid-cruise, in which case an auto-land system would have to safely navigate the aircraft to the destination too, not just land the aircraft.
And really, if the aircraft can do all of that to a satisfactory level, then you won't need a single pilot. And as long as it can't, then 2 pilots will be necessary.


airzona11 wrote:
Contrasting that with batteries, there needs to be some hefty innovation, batteries are heavy and once they've exhausted their energy are still present and heavy.


Only if you go fully-electric. The hybrid-electric concept that Airbus is going to test with an Avro RJ is not.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Next important technology?

Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:30 pm

JustSomeDood wrote:
This would require extensive infrastructure support from airports and significant tech improvements, but....

At present, engines entirely propel an airplane through the takeoff roll, and are the biggest bottleneck to thrust level requirements for aircraft (engine sized for takeoff). Jet engines, all things considered, are also terrible at accelerating aircraft from a standstill efficiency wise. Enter electric motors, the same characteristics that make Teslas awesome at the drag strip (max torque at 0rpm), would also make them great at accelerating aircraft from standstill to low speeds. Then it stands to reason that putting electric motors (big ones) in the MLG to assist in takeoff roll would decrease engine thrust requirements, allowing for smaller engines for a given capacity aircraft, leading to greater fuel efficiency (feedback loop of engines->fuel->weight) and emissions.

Now let's do some calculations, for an A35k at MTOW (311t), assuming a takeoff roll of 40 seconds and takeoff speed of 170mph (reasonable?), average acceleration is ~1.9m/s^2, power = 311000*1.9m/s^2*38m/s~=22.4MW. Now let's say that, for a simple assumption, we want 30% of that power to be made by the motors, meaning it will help the most during low speeds before the constant force jets take over for acceleration. that means 6.7MW divided into 12 wheels is ~558kw per motor, certainly not infeasible, there are countless Teslas running around with motors that have nearly such output power, and the motors themselves aren't particularly heavy.

Notice that nothing has been said about batteries, and that's because since the motors are only used on the ground, there wouldn't be such a need for batteries (at least really heavy huge ones that kill electric commercial aircraft feasibility). With admittedly ginormous advancements in wireless electricity transmission tech, it's certainly feasible that runways can be made with electricity transmission capability which the aircraft receive while on takeoff.


The critical element for sizing jet engines isn’t take-off performance on the runway, it’s climb performance, specifically engine-out second segment performance and cruise thrust at optimum flight level at initial level-off after gross weight take-off. Adding electric motors for the roll would increase acceleration some, but do nothing for the critical issue, hence engine thrust could not be reduced.

GF
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:42 am

GalaxyFlyer:

2nd-segment climb performance is measured at V2 speed because L/D increases with speed across any feasible takeoff speed range. Higher L/D means better climb performance (more thrust excess over drag). Electric motors would enable increased liftoff speed, thus lowering the OEI thrust requirement for 2nd-segment climb.

As you point out, however, some planes' engines are sized for climb to initial cruise FL, not for takeoff. Electric motors wouldn't help them but would help nearly all (all?) Twins.
 
dragon6172
Posts: 881
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:38 am

kurtverbose wrote:
I see big oportunities in how planes are operated at airports.

I'm going to introduce a new airport vehicle which I'll call AARDVARK1 (airport aircraft recover disembark vehicle also release o'K 1). This is an electrically powered vehicle - charged by the airport infrastructure so it doesn't need a large battery.

It picks up the passengers and luggage from the gate. It then drives out to meet the landing aircraft, which it docks with. It collects the disembarking passengers and luggage, refuels and does any service checks and embarks the new passengers. At the same time it's taxiing the aircraft to the correct end of the departure runway. This is a moving turnaround.

No APU needs to run. No main engines need to run. Turnaround times are startlingly good. Long wings are less of a problem. This wouldn't require big changes to existing aircraft.

Next stage - AARDVARK2. I forget what this stands for, but has all the features of ARDVARK1, plus....

....Aircraft will not need most of their landing/takeoff equipment. Heavy landing gear, slats, flaps, airbrakes, thrust reversers.

To take off AARDVARK2 will remain docked to the aircraft and will provide the excess power above climb thrust needed for takeoff. Without flaps, takeoff speed will be high, but this won't be a problem (hopefully). Any failure at takeoff will not be a problem as takeoff will be aborted and AARDVARK2 will have the stopping ability within the runway length.

To land AARDVARK2 will winch the plane down for docking and recover the landing energy as electricity.

I will admit AARDVARK2 would be considerably more difficult than AARDVARK1.

I also admit my acronym isn't very good.

Sounds like a big conveyor belt. If A.net has taught me anything, it's that an airplane can not take off from a moving conveyor belt. Or can it? I don't remember.
Phrogs Phorever
 
dragon6172
Posts: 881
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:42 am

I see the move from pilots to automation as being a step process:

Full automation with two on board pilot observers
Full automation with single on board pilot observer
Full automation with emergency pilot on board filling a role as flight attendant during normal ops
Phrogs Phorever
 
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Matt6461
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:36 pm

Re: Next important technology?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:56 pm

1989worstyear wrote:
Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation


What a crazy thing to type on a computer and send over the internet so that I (a Millennial*) can read it on my blingy phone, via my browser app, in a virtual community that enables sharing and deepening a love of aviation.

*-ish
 
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kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 759
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:55 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:

The critical element for sizing jet engines isn’t take-off performance on the runway, it’s climb performance, specifically engine-out second segment performance and cruise thrust at optimum flight level at initial level-off after gross weight take-off. Adding electric motors for the roll would increase acceleration some, but do nothing for the critical issue, hence engine thrust could not be reduced.

GF


I'm not saying you're wrong, but can you provide some citation or something for this. What you wrote is against both the common knowledge of airliners.net and against my understanding (but still might be true).
 
1989worstyear
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:53 pm

Re: Next important technology?

Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:51 am

Matt6461 wrote:
1989worstyear wrote:
Sadly, the Millennial generation in the west cares more about apps and shiny "bling" sh** to care about aviation


What a crazy thing to type on a computer and send over the internet so that I (a Millennial*) can read it on my blingy phone, via my browser app, in a virtual community that enables sharing and deepening a love of aviation.

*-ish


Don't worry, I am one too (89). At least you were born before the oldest in service A320-200's took to the skies, and therefore have the privilege of being a true "90s kid". Also, speaking of the A320-200, hipster apps don't update nearly 30 year old tired wing designs :lol:


Back on topic - what do folks think the future holds for aviation biofuels? It seems the incentive isn't there currently, but what about 25-30 years from now? Will the economies of scale ever work out?
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...

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