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Aviation innovations on the rise

February 14, 2012, 11:09 am

NASA recently unveiled new concepts for future eco-friendly aircraft designs. The new models were developed by three firms in NASA and aim to consume 50 percent less fuel than planes unveiled in 1998, as well as produce 50 percent less harmful emissions in the atmosphere. The new models also shrink the size of geographic areas affected by airport noise by 83 percent.

The preliminary designs met the pollution goal of reducing landing and takeoff emissions of nitrogen oxides by 50 percent, but the plan to reduce airport noise is still being developed, International Business Times reported.

"All of the teams have done really great work during this conceptual design study,"  said Mark Mangelsdorf, chief engineer for NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project, which contracted the designs. "Their results make me excited about how interesting and different the airplanes on the airport ramp could look in 20 years. Another great result of the study is that they have really helped us focus where to invest our research dollars over the next few years."

Also working to develop greener aviation solutions, Airlines for America and Boeing recently sent the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations for aviation biofuels policy. The companies call for support across the supply chain for aviation fuels, as well as two commercial-scale projects to develop the alternative fuel source, Biofuels Digest reported.

With engineers making the skies greener, pilots can make them safer with investment in pilot insurance.

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