Clean Sky Technology Takes another Step Towards Making First Flight
Clean Sky Technology, Europe’s aerospace research venture has been working on a joint technology initiative to reduce air transport’s environmental footprint and recently took a huge leap in accomplishing one of its goals. This leap was seen in its completion, via Saab in Sweden, of a natural laminar flow wing section. With its innovative design this wing section is supposed to reduce air drag and if applied to the entire wing, could bring a 5-10 percent improvement in fuel consumption. As part of the Blade (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe) flight demonstrator this wing section will soon arrive at Spain’s Aernnova plant for assembly. It will eventually be installed on an Airbus A340-300 aircraft for testing purposes
By integrating the leading edge of the wing with the spar and the stringers in a single composite architecture, engineers at Saab were able to get rid of fasteners and gaps on the wings surface, thereby increasing the length of laminar airflow while reducing turbulent airflow. This reduction in turbulent airflow while increasing laminar airflow means that the wing has a smoother motion with less air resistance. In addition to reducing the air resistance encountered by the wings of the airplane, the use of lighter, carbon fiber based materials combined with the latest knowledge in composite design and manufacturing has reduced the weight of the wing, further contributing to its reduction in fuel consumption.
In addition to the laminar flow wing, MTU Aero Engines are also being developed in Munich, Germany. These newly developed engines will be great addition to any air related transport vessels and they will both increase efficiency, while curbing the fuel consumption of most current aircrafts.
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