What does the future bring? A look at Technologies for Commercial Aircraft in the years 2035 to 2050
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Demographics and economics in the next 20 years are being examined. They reflect a significant GDP growth and with this a strong demand for commercial aircraft not only in the US and Europe but across Asia and the Middle East. The demand will focus on more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly vehicles. Significant progress is being made with the new regionals, narrow-body, and wide-body aircraft between now and the year 2020. Looking beyond, the world will examine new airplane architectures, new changes in propulsion systems, and higher thermal and propulsion efficiencies. Distributed propulsion options will come into play. With them, higher operating pressure gas generators will be developed and great attention will have to be given to highly integrated propulsion/airplane systems. Energy transfer requirements will lead to bigger gear systems as well as new hybrid systems. The new machines are forecasted to offer improvements in fuel efficiencies of over 40%. A terrific achievement. There are many technical challenges to make all these things happen. The aerospace engineers and scientists of today and tomorrow face unlimited opportunities to make a difference for what looks like a very exciting future.