Aerospace engineering is one of the top points in engineering field. Behalf of stability and performance details design, operation and manufacturing issues of aerospace engineering always need to be robust and progressive. In this manner future of fuel technology in aircrafts has a different horizon. Is it really possible to have an energy source that is efficient, alternative and durable?
Emerging technologies in aerospace engineering led to have more efficient and comfortable flight. Beyond consumer viewpoint aircraft design has a huge background that is related with engineering. For instance, having more silent engine means comfort. But “under the hood” efficiency is more important. New engine technologies, alternative fuels, aerodynamic improvements and operational optimizations are critical topics of fuel technologies.
Emissions, high oil prices and increased performance demands push developments about fuel technologies of aircrafts. Typical aircraft has nearly 20 liters fuel consumption per mile. At the moment world jet fuel consumption is 6 percent of world oil consumption. However it accounts nearly half of energy needs of developed countries.
When you consider passenger flights there is an international flight that has achieved 52.1 seat miles per gallon. And it has improved 121 percent since 1960s. Having more passenger for each flight is one of the key points for fuel efficiency. But there is limitations which is related with organization and aerospace engineering.
Beyond operational issues there are aerospace engineering details, which is important for fuel efficiency. Turboprop and turbofan engine technologies are core details for fuel consumption. Geared turbofan engine is one of the game changer details in aerospace engineering. It is a milestone for fuel efficiency. However it still needs improvements about size and application.
Aircraft means movement in the air. So you always need to consider aerodynamic details. And you need to consider wings. Bigger wings, aerodynamic equipment and operational details are shaped with experience. Sure, there are new developments for more fuel efficient flight. One of the long term design developments in aerospace engineering is blended wing aircraft. Technically a blend wing aircraft can increase fuel efficiency up to 35%. It reduces noise, too. But it is not convenient for passenger aircrafts.
Alternative energy sources are available for aircrafts. Hydrotreated renewable jet fuel that blends oup to 50 percent fuel from biosources like cooking oil, algae is being used since 2011. However it is not technical yet. Aircrafts need great power to work. According to aerospace engineering conditions it requires engine revisions.
Everything starts with material. New composite ceramics that can be used in jet engines can increase efficiency. A composite ceramics can increase combustion temperature. By this way fuel and air mix can push thermodynamic limits. If reinforced ceramics can have enough ductility it can be next stop of aerospace engineering.
There is new pathways and projects about fuel technology and efficiency. But there is a reality: Transformation in aerospace engineering will take time.
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