Three Key Aspects Of Aircraft Efficiency: Engines, Body And Alternative Fuels

 

To meet the demand of more fuel efficiencies in the airplanes, the manufacturers adopt a holistic approach and a multi-pronged strategy. The most common areas which have been focused upon are: body of the aircraft, the development of better and fuel efficient engines and the alternative fuels. The research efforts has been primarily aimed at finding newer resources that can used in an airplane as well as at the development of newer technologies which are more efficient, safe and financially feasible for airplane development.

Usage of carbon composites in the making of the body of the aircraft which gives it the required strength as well as reduces the overall weight of the aircraft has been a major achievement which is set to reduce the consumption of the fuel. Though the use of these composites is being done on a limited scale, this is likely to be a trend of the future aircraft manufacturing.

Similarly, there have been newer and better engines which are fuel efficient. There has been need for developing powerful engines since there has been a trend to develop larger planes which can accommodate more passengers which need robust engines. However, the general principle is that the larger or powerful an engine is, the greater is the loss of efficiency. The new technology focuses on reducing these inefficiencies and making the larger and long-haul plane engines as efficient as the smaller ones.

Another area which has been worked upon to incorporate greater efficiencies is that of alternative fuels in the aircraft. Many options have been tried in this regard. In place of the conventional kerosene fuel, the alternatives tried are the bio-fuels, methanol, liquid hydrogen and the high performance synthetic fuels. Each of these alternatives have their own set of pros and cons which puts limitations on their usage. While the synthetic fuels are high on performance, these contribute to global warming. The use of bio-fuels, which are environment friendly, do affect performance and therefore, there is a need to blend them with some other fuels which entails more costs. Therefore, there has been continued research effort focused on developing technologies which can meet all the requirements and also be commercially viable for sustainable usage.

Development of the alternative fuels will be a step forward for the energy independence of every country. It will also result in hedging the risks associated with the fluctuations in the global crude prices. Further, the growing aviation market will be able to offer cheap air tickets due to high efficiencies without compromising our environment.

 

 

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Benefit From Higher Efficiency Of The Diesel Engines

The engines are the heart most of the vehicles. Thus, if one owns an engine diesel powered car or truck, they will probably understand the best qualities offered by such engines. They offer the benefits like good fuel economy, greater torque, easy maintenance, etc. However, they also suffer from the drawback of the weaker power especially when taking acceleration from the stand still position of the vehicle.

An engine diesel is called as the compression ignition diesel engine, as well. It is internal combustion type engine, which uses the compression heat to start the ignition process so as start burning of the fuel. During the final stage of the compression, the fuel is injected inside the combustion chamber. Thus, they are different than the spark ignited petrol or gasoline engines, which take help of spark plugs to ignite the mixture of the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. Rather, these diesel engines are based on the famous diesel cycle.

In general, such diesel engines have the higher thermal efficiencies compared to any other types of internal combustion or external combustion type engines. This was possible with the engine diesels because of their highest compression ratio. Because of such higher thermal efficiency, such low speed engines diesel having around 50 percent thermal efficiency have become popular for the shipping or other industries where their overall weight is not much an important consideration.

Basically, these diesel engines were manufactured in two basic types such as the two stroke auto diesel engine and four stroke diesel engines. Because of their multiple benefits they were often used in various industries such as transport, automotive, electrical, power, mechanical, etc. They were found to be very useful in applications such as ships or submarines, cars, trucks, locomotives, electrical power generation plant, etc.

In the two-stroke diesel engine, the four stage cycle of intake, compress, power and exhaust of the engine is completed in just two strokes of the piston. This is made possible because of the design of the piston where in the lower space below the piston is used for air intake and its compression, where as the space or chamber above piston is used for power stroke and exhaust stroke. It results in having a power stroke after every crank revolution. Because of this reason, such two-stroke engine offer higher specific power and make them useful for the lightweight or portable applications.

On the other hand, in the four-stroke diesel engine the four process cycle of fuel or air intake, their compression, generation of power stroke and the exhaust stroke takes place in four strokes of piston instead of two strokes as in the two stroke engines. However, it results in having a power stroke after every second revolution of the piston in such four stroke type engines.

However, majority of the vehicle manufacturers today opt for the four-stroke diesel engine parts. Variety of cars from small to the luxurious ones are today equipped with such engines because of their advanced technology and better fuel efficiency and compatibility with the environmental standards.

Thus, knowing such basics of the diesel engine helps one to select the best vehicles.

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Carbon Composites To Increase Aircraft Fuel Efficiency

 

Reducing the airfares is one of the most important ways of garnering market shares. The airlines all over the world prefer to buy those airplanes which have a good operational efficiency in terms of fuel consumption. When it comes to reducing the airfares, the most commonly applied methods are of increasing the levels of efficiencies in all-round, in-flight and on-ground operations of the airplanes and selecting those airplanes which are fuel-efficient. To increase the level of efficiency of airplanes, the manufacturing companies devise newer methods of developing the aircraft to reduce the weight of the aircraft. The general principle is that lesser is the weight of the aircraft, lesser is the consumption of the fuel which increases the efficiency level of the aircraft, making it possible for the companies to earn more profits or to fuel their growth by offering cheap air tickets to the passengers.

The recent development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is a case in the pointer. The aircraft is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the similar aircraft operating on same routes. This has been made possible by the innovation in the manufacturing technologies of the aircraft. The primary reason for achieving this level of fuel efficiency is that the body of the 787 Dreamliner is made of carbon composites instead of the aluminum metal which has resulted in reduction of the weight of the aircraft.  

Aviation is witnessing a boom since a lot of people have begun to travel on domestic and international routes and even the frequency of the travel has increased considerably over the past few years. The reduction of the price of airfares has been a significant factor behind this growth. Since fuel prices account for a major part of the prices of flight tickets, more efficiency can make it possible for the network carriers as well as the LCCs to pass on the benefit to the customers. For this reason, the development of a new aircraft which is 20 percent more fuel efficient is likely to further reduce the airfares. At the same time, it is also likely to make a big difference between the haves and have-nots of this airplane. The emergence of the LCCs as key players in the aviation markets worldwide, due to their simpler approach to aviation, is also likely to be challenged in the long term by the competitors who have this fuel efficient aircraft.