Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Naked Engine For Cleaner Flights...?!

General Electric engineers back in 1983 experimented with jet engines without the exterior encasing, called an "unducted fan" engine. Although much louder and threatening looking, these unducted fan engines produced more power for the same amount of fuel. Overall fuel consumption would be reduced to about 26 percent. The project was later shelved and forgotten about until today... Testing continues and GE hopes to have engines ready for mid-size jets by at least 2020.
The engine also saves fuel by tilting the blades to control speed—rather than throttling up or down—which lets it run at a constant, efficient rate.
GE will probably have to execute some spin of its own to get the public on board with the fearsome design, which engineers have dubbed the “flying Cuisinart.”
This is great news and hopefully the savings of fuel that this engine makes will in turn make plane tickets cheaper...(not holding breath on that one). Either way, I'm keeping the aisle seat knowing a crazy engine like that is  just outside the window! 

via popsci

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