Nonstop flights from Europe to Australia could become a reality
Dutch airline KLM, working in conjunction with Delft University of Technology, have come up with an aircraft in concept which it is claimed will fly from Europe to the east coast of Australia non-stop, but you may have to wait until 2050 to see it. The engineers and scientists have come up with drawings which they claim could be a reality, all down to the stunning wing design and revolutionary engines which will power the aircraft.
The wing has been designed to improve fuel efficiency and the engines on the new project, named AHEAD which stands for Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development, is planned to carry 300 passengers and have a range of 8,700 miles. The two engines on the aircraft are key; the way that these operate is that the first of the two uses either liquefied natural gas, or cryogenic hydrogen. The second of the two uses kerosene or biofuel. Currently aircraft engines known as turbo fan work through the air being heated which powers the turbines. The new engines are claimed to reduce emissions which of course is a bonus, but in a blog, which has been written by KLM engineer Rob Dulvis, he explained that the new concept of wing design minimises drag and that makes the aircraft much more fuel efficient.
The concept is of course a long way off and many wonder if it will ever come to fruition, particularly when you consider that there is already an aircraft that could conceivably do this the Boeing 777 which can already theoretically fly the distance non-stop from West to East, but not the other way because of headwinds. Such journeys are currently uneconomic because it is so expensive to carry the fuel needed for the extra range. Aircraft usually make a stopover in Asia, usually Singapore, to refuel and we wonder just how many people would want to sit in an aircraft seat for more than 23 hours.