Today’s Solutions: January 17, 2022

The moniker “frequent flyer” used to evoke a certain sense of luxury and adventure, but these days as humanity strives for sustainability, the label provokes unfavorable thoughts of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.

Pressured by the escalating climate crisis, the commercial airline industry is looking for innovative ways to make air travel greener. SE Aeronautics steps up to the challenge with a surprising new design that they claim will revolutionize the industry.

Their proposal takes an unorthodox approach to the wide-body aircraft design that has, for the most part, remained unchanged for decades. The new design includes a third wing, a double tail fin, and two rear engines.

The design is called the SE200 prototype and can carry 264 passengers. It will require 70 percent less fuel than jets of comparable size, can travel around 10,500 miles, and has a top speed of 690.5 mph —faster than other jets of the same class. The third wing provides more lift, reducing the distance needed for takeoff and landing, which means more small airports can work with the SE200 as less land is required to accommodate it.

The design allows for a thinner, more aerodynamic design as no fuel will be stored in the wings. Instead, the fuel is stored on a bladder atop the fuselage. One of the other notably unconventional aspects of this design is that it features a single-piece, tough composite fuselage. Other aircraft have large sections called “barrels” bolted together to optimize production, but this is generally where fuselages come apart in an accident.

SE Aeronautics claims that the SE200 could be the most efficient ever built. According to them, they “will also be able to build these aircraft in less than half the time it takes to normally build an aircraft of its size.”

Although the SE200 is yet to take to the skies, its innovative design opens the door for engineers to shift gears and begin experimenting with new commercial solutions for a greener and more sustainable travel industry.

Source Image: SE Aeronautics

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