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New Concept Plane With 'Blended Wing Body' Unveiled By Airbus

New Concept Plane With 'Blended Wing Body' Unveiled By Airbus
A new place design aimed to reduce carbon emissions by about 20 per cent and one that has a curvaceous design belonging the wing and the body, was unveiled by the European plane maker Airbus.
Code-named Maveric, this secretive and technologically advanced plane design, was secretly tested by Airbus at a location in central France since last year even as the company was very tight lipped about this project. The veil from this secret project was lifted by the company at the Singapore Airshow.
Since the 1940s, the idea of a plane that has a "blended wing body" has been floating around the industry and which has led to the development of the B-2 bomber of the United States and the X-48 research project that was conducted about a decade ago in a joint collaboration between Boeing and NASA.
While such a design is quite complex and difficult to control, it is also more efficient while in flight because of the much lower aerodynamic drag that it produces.
With the growing pressure on the commercial airline industry to deliver planes that are more environmentally friendly, plane makers are looking back at the "blended wing body" design concept. 
“We believe it is high time now to push this technology further and study what it brings to us,” Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice-president of engineering at Airbus, told reporters. “We need these disruptive technologies to meet our environmental challenge. It is the next generation of aircraft; we are studying an option.”
It was not yet time to say anything about whether planes made of such designs would be able to be a part of the next generation of medium-haul crafts that are expected to hit the market in the 2030s, he said.
Dumont said that there have been significant developments in modern aircraft becoming lighter because of new building materials since the time when the previous generation of planes were developed and tested. There has also been a leaps and bounds development of computing power which has improved on-board flight control systems. 
Currently, Airbus is examining the designing and functioning of the cabin as well as how planes with this new design could be incorporated into the current airports. One of the aspects in designing of these planes that remains unresolved is whether these planes should have windows or whether passengers provided with video screens to give them a sense of windows as in conventional planes.
Handling of the sensations of movement is another issue that has troubled makers of this experimental design in the past. Passengers would be forced out further due to the centrifugal force on them when the aircraft turns because they would be seated further out from the centre of the aircraft in comparison to the seating arrangements in the conventional 'tube and wings' plane designs that we see now.
Concept on the same model are being examined by Airbus rival Boeing but has focused the development of this design concept for possible cargo planes.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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