‘Silent aircraft’: How it works

By | November 7, 2006

Silent aircraft How it works

Engineers from the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have unveiled a radical design for a “silent aircraft”. The team says any noise from the concept aircraft, known as the SAX-40, would be “imperceptible” beyond the boundaries of an airport. It would also burn far less fuel than conventional planes. …

The shape of the plane is what is known as a “blended wing” design. This hybrid design uses the wings of a conventional plane smoothly blended into a wide tailless body.

The improved lift also means that the plane can do away with flaps on the wings, which are a major source of airframe noise on conventional aircraft.

Because the design does not need a tail, used to provide additional lift and stability on conventional craft, it also cuts down on turbulent airflow and noise from the back of the plane.

The design, made of lightweight composites, also improves the fuel efficiency of the craft whilst cruising. …

By embedding the three engines in the aircraft frame, it also reduces drag and therefore noise.

The “ultra-high bypass ratio turbofans”, as they are known, are also arranged in a novel way to minimise noise output.

Here’s what I say: Bring ’em on!

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