Scientists find a way to make airplanes "greener"

Lighten the weight of its wings and an airplane immediately becomes more fuel efficient. Researchers at Delft University in the Netherlands, along with collaborators at aluminium giant Alcoa and GTM Advanced Structures, have redesigned airplane wings so that they are made up like a sandwich. The central layer is a strong mesh of fibers laminated with metal; on either side lies a thick aluminium layer. Not only does this create a light, robust wing, the resulting structure is also insensitive to metal fatigue, which plagues wings made just of aluminium. Besides, the new wings are stronger than the carbon fiber reinforced plastic wings that have recently been used in aircraft such as the Boeing 787. The researchers estimate that using their new "green" design allows a weight reduction of about 20 per cent compared to the Boeing 787. They translate this to a worldwide fuel and maintenance savings of $100 billion for the airline industry.

 

 

 

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FAA to Boeing: Please Show that 787 Dreamliner Can't be Hacked

In a story that appeared last week in Flight International and then got legs via Wired, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going to require Boeing "to demonstrate that certain 787 flight critical domains - digital systems and networks that for the first time will be accessible externally via wireless and other links to airline operations and maintenance systems - cannot be tampered with."The FAA Special Conditions Notice [Docket No. NM364 Special Conditions No. 25-356-SC] effective 1 February 2008 summary states:"These special conditions are issued for the Boeing Model 787-8 airplane. This airplane will have …