‘Silent jet' making noise in aviation circles
Globe and Mail Update
A radical new ‘silent jet' that looks like a giant, flying sting ray and makes the noise of a washing machine is being touted as the quiet, clean future of air travel.
The conceptual design was unveiled in London on Monday by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge University researchers.
Consisting of a single shell that blends the airplane body and the wings into a seamless flying machine, from outside an airport its designers say it would sound about as noisy as a washing machine.
The original idea was to hugely reduce the noise of airplanes, a move that could spell silent bliss for residents living near airports -- and could let airports expand further into highly populated areas.
In a major bonus, though, the final design also promises to be about 25 per cent more fuel efficient than current planes. The silent aircraft is designed to carry 215 passengers, with a predicted passenger-mile ratio similar to a Toyota Prius hybrid car.
The overall shape of the silent jet is one curved wing with air intake vents on the top of the craft, instead of below the wings. The entire craft contributes to lift, so takeoff and approach speeds can be lower, which lowers the noise generated and improves fuel efficiency.
There are no flaps or hinged rear sections on the wing and engines are embedded in the aircraft. The project aims to develop aircraft by 2030.