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MIT team designs plane that uses 70% less fuel Answered

Planes use a massive amount of fuel to move passengers and cargo around the world. A new design from an MIT team could cut this fuel usage by 70%. This is great news and would make flights cheaper and pump out a lot less carbon. The bad news is that air traffic is expected to double in the next 30 years and the earliest these designs would be in the air is 2035.
MIT designed their D-series as a 180 passenger aircraft meant to replace the domestic 737 market. Conventional airplanes utilize a single fuselage design, while the D-series uses two partial tubular shapes placed beside each other — which accounts for the bubble nickname. The plane utilizes a host of technological advances to decrease its fuel consumption. It has thinner longer wings and a smaller tail and engine placement at the rear of the plane instead of on the wings. All of these features account for part of the reduction in fuel usage.

MIT Team Unveils Airplane that Uses 70 Percent Less Fuel


Nice scheme, but... it's ugly!

I don't think anyone will care about that, it's not like a car or anything...

The only time you'll see this plane is when you are about to board and to exit the plane. And even then sometimes you won't see it.

And these days if something makes me spend 70 procent less on fuel it can be ugly as hell I won't care...

Is that the same as Jaguar racing green?
Fits 21 drunken fools after a hard night of pub runs.



You're going to build a real one?


 I'll build one, just with a BMW Mini, can;t fit my fat American posterior in one of those tiny liddle things :P

I think they already pushed through to functionally impressive.

Hey, Adam Sandler has a career, right? <grin>

Meh, I like it, it looks futuristic. I had the same idea of a twin-fuselage and ruboprops in the back of the plane a few years ago, inspired by the soviet Typhoon submarine. Ah well, I'm no plane designer anyway.

if you think about it, if society grows around anything, no matter how it looks, they'll come to accept it as beautiful. strange how it all works, eh? haha. which means, if this kind of plane was the first one to be invented, who knows? maybe this one would be considered pretty and later on conventional airliners would be introduced and thought of as ugly. haha, just my 2 cents.

Eh, who cares? I don't think it looks much better or worse than any other commercial plane anyway.

I can tell the difference between Qantas and Rex planes, but there's still no real level of detail.

It is cool to be ugly as long as it is green. Look at the Toyota Prius.


 I like it.  Reminds me of the Lifting Body (a Lifting Body aircraft is actually shaped so that that body of the aircraft provides the lift) experimental aircraft tested in the 60's.  Add long and slim wings for added range and stability plus those rear mounted and streamlined engines, and this aircraft is made out of all sorts of win.


8 years ago

So the problem with this report is "70% less than what." 

Real planes are evaluated in this excellent online energy resource "Without Hot Air". 

While it is a little cumbersome, a unit of measure for air-plane passenger efficiency is kilowatt hours per 100 kilometres per passenger.

A very efficient commercial airline uses about the same energy per 100 kilometres per passenger as two people driving in a typical European car.

" ... “would air travel consume significantly less energy if we travelled in
slower planes?” The answer is no: in contrast to wheeled vehicles, which
can get more efficient the slower they go, planes are already almost as
energy-efficient as they could possibly be. Planes unavoidably have to use
energy for two reasons: they have to throw air down in order to stay up,
and they need energy to overcome air resistance. No redesign of a plane
is going to radically improve its efficiency. A 10% improvement? Yes,
possible. A doubling of efficiency? I’d eat my complimentary socks."

I take the report as new designs use 70% less fuel than the current generation of commercial airliners in service like the 737 or 777 jumbo jets.

It seems they are looking back into supersonic flight to go faster with less fuel also.  If you are only looking at numbers, whatever method of travel should be the most efficient at getting your from point A to point B but if you can reduce the cost and environmental impact, then you have a better solution.

I don't really care for the looks of this plane, but I'd sure like to see somebody design one after an X-wing.


8 years ago

Very similar to the designs Burnelli created with his lifting body aircraft which started back in the 30s.

 Why will it take so long too go into serves it's what we need now to make it better for the future of the next generation

You should research the process of "airworthiness certification," then come back and answer your own question.

 I see what you mean and it sucks but its the truth and you cant change it

Well, ask yourself whether you want an efficient plane built fast, or an efficient plane built that doesn't kill passengers. :-D

 The design reminds me slightly of the Space Shuttle (which will be missed greatly). Also, 70% less fuel?! Holy crap that's a big reduction!

What's bumping the wait up by so much!?!