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New Airbus Patent Wants To Put Jet Engines In Your Face

Download: Printable PDF Date: 24 Apr 2016 03:04 category:
New Airbus Patent Wants To Put Jet Engines In Your Face - Manufacturer publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: France Aircraft: Airplanes
Source: Popular Sience

After an interminable wait in three security checkpoints, you finally make it to the terminal and settle in for a little bite of pre-flight food. Flying always gives you butterflies, so you skip the Cricket Bistro and instead grab a Soylent greenshake, chugging it as you make your way to the gate.

After putting your hand through the biometric scanner, and hoverboard your way down the gangway before sliding in the new Airbus A720. As you make your way to your seat, you hope for a window. The last time you flew south was in 2030, and you want to see how much the coastline has changed since then.

Plunking down in the furthest interior seat, you look to the window, and let out an exhausted sigh: there’s no window here. Instead, you’ll have the dull hum of three jet engines just inches from your face for the entire flight.

Okay, most of that is pure fiction for the moment. But the jets in your face is at least within the realm of possibility. Last week, Airbus was granted a patent for “Multi-fan engine with an enhanced power transmission,” which is a dull way to describe “designing jet engines so more can be crammed onto one plane.”

Here’s how Aeropatent described it:

In the ongoing drive to increase propulsive efficiency, perhaps the most obvious solution is to increase the engine fan diameter, but of course there are physical limits involved when engines are mounted underneath the wing. Unless you turn the landing gear into stilts, then you'll have to find another way.

And that's exactly what several leading aerospace companies are doing. Today we bring you this intriguing concept from Airbus for a multi-fan aero-engine that comprises a gas turbine, an engine casing and multiple fans which are encased and connected to each other by geared rings, such that the rotation of one fan drives the others.

Putting the engines alongside the plane is just one possible permutation of this technology. Another is longer, joined engine-pods below the wings, who produce more power more efficiently by channelling excess airflow into smaller, supporting engines. For decades, the standard way to improve airflow through jet engines has been increasing the diameter of their intake, but at some point the engine is so big that it’s sitting on the ground, which simply won’t do.

That’s good news for engineers exploring the frontiers of modern design. And it’s bad news for anyone who gets stuck next to a noisy engine, where a window once was.

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