Things With Wings

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  • Deploy the Shields, First Officer
    Posted by Graham Warwick 10:18 PM on Sep 09, 2011

    A configuration commonly used to illustrate a future concept for an environmentally friendly airliner has fuel-efficient open-rotor engines nestled between twin tails the shield the prop noise from the ground.

    blog post photo
    Concept: Kaktus Digital, for Aviation Week

    Noise shielding certainly works, and may be needed to get the acoustics of open rotors down to acceptable levels, but there are lingering concerns that if blades come off the engine they could disable critical control surfaces.

    nter a new patent awarded to Airbus (US 8,011,613, filed in 2008), for surfaces that deploy from under the tail to mask the noise from fuselage-mounted open-rotor engines during take-off and landing.
    blog post photo
    Graphics: vis USPTO

    These deployable masking surfaces would allow open-rotor engines to be mounted on the aft fuselage - avoiding the issues of hanging propfans ahead of the wing - but would keep their rotor-burst zone safely ahead of the tail, as illustrated below:
    blog post photo


    Tags: tw99, environment

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