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Top Story

Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster and even greener, over the last 60 years. Today's aircraft use roughly 80 percent less fuel per passenger-mile than the first jets of the 1950s--a testimony to the tremendous impact of aerospace engineering on flight. In spite of continuous improvements in fuel burning efficiency, global emissions are still expected to increase over next two decades due to a doubling in air traffic, so making even small improvements to aircrafts' fuel efficiency can have a large effect on economies and on the environment. Now, the Stampede supercomputer is helping University of Michigan researchers design jets with morphing wings, or built from composite materials, that will burn less fuel.

Visit Website | Image credit: Joaquim Martins