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Students design lighter, greener airliner

cranfield-airlinerStudents at Cranfield University recently unveiled their design for a fuel-efficient propeller-powered aircraft as part of the annual Aerospace Vehicle Design Presentation.

Sixty-four Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc students have been working since last September to design the A-8 Hummingbird. Their goal was to design a lighter and greener airliner suitable for both commercial and military use.

The 70-seater turbo-prop advanced regional aircraft boasts fuel efficiency and the capability of short take-off and landing.

“The work and imagination that has gone into this project is evidence of the innovative thinking and research taking place in aircraft design,” said course director Phil Stocking. “The A-8 Hummingbird is the perfect showcase of how to use composite materials to lesson the fuel consumption and improve the agility of the aircraft.”

The MSc Group Design Project from the University’s School of Engineering is sponsored by Boeing.

“The pursuit of enhanced environmental performance is vital to Boeing’s research and technology endeavors,” said David Paisley, technical fellow from The Boeing Company. “Challenging young minds in such a way pays dividends in terms of enhancing the future skills and creating the intellectual capacity on which our industry thrives.”

Last year, Cranfield students presented their concept for a new air refueling tanker designed to provide all-weather air refueling for military aircraft, including unmanned air vehicles and civil airliners.

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