The future of airplanes is all about the wings

Share this article

In the 115 years since the Wright brothers took to the skies in the very first powered airplane, the concept has evolved a number of times.

First the bi-plane, with its iconic two-tiered wings and propellers. Then, engineers figured out that having a single wing on each side of the vehicle could increase speed and enhance manoeuvrability. From there, the birth of jet engines made aeroplanes faster and less prone to breakdown, and gave the world access to affordable, effective transport.

So what’s next? Have we now reached the pinnacle of airline tech? If the sky is truly the limit, have we already peaked?

The answer to that is, of course, a resounding no.

Winging it

The aviation industry is currently at something of a crossroads. With companies large and small facing challenges ranging from operating costs to environmental concerns, it is quite clear that change is coming. A focus on increased levels of efficiency is required, and that means coming up with solutions to limit carbon emissions while enhancing flight times.

So what’s the answer? Well, for a number of intrepid entrepreneurs, it would seem that the best way to progress is by instigating the next evolution of air travel.

Groups such as the Parsifal Project are leading the way. The organisation’s latest brainchild – a closed-winged aircraft that is considerably more environmentally friend than current aeroplanes – has garnered support from the European Commission, and has attained research funding from the EU. []

Meanwhile, a concept known as ‘Futuris’ is also making waves. Funded in part by the EU, the plane’s design – complete with a revolutionary wing design that has been crafted by a range of engineers and scientists – promises to assist in removing carbon emissions from both passenger and cargo flights.

A to-scale prototype has already been created, and those involved with the project are confident that they will be able to proceed with the build of a full-size vehicle in the near future. []

What next?

Of course, change is never quite as simple as just adding in one new element. Other organisations – such as Virgin Atlantic – are currently looking at the viability of using recycled waste as a fuel source, while others have replaced traditional aeroplane engines with helicopter engines to tremendous effect.

The future of the aviation industry is in a state of transition, but that can only be a good thing. Challenges and concerns are the pillars of innovation, after all.



Latest insights

5 steps to becoming a B Corp

Ever wondered if B Corp is right for your business? …. Well, we think it’s right for every business, but it doesn’t come easy, so we thought we’d put together a brief overview on how we got there in approximately 12 months.

One Tribe: Empowering businesses to take climate action

WeWhoDo are passionate about taking climate action and enjoy talking to those engaged in taking climate action around the world. One such person and team is Ric Porteus, the CEO of One Tribe, who joined us to discuss tree protection, the state of the Amazon rainforest and how they will help businesses to take climate action.

Aceleron: Revolutionizing access to low-cost energy storage

WeWhoDo sat down with Elisa Alexieva, Brand Marketing Manager at Aceleron to discuss UK engineering that is powering the world! The company’s circular economy approach is designing waste out of the battery manufacturing process by manufacturing the first circular economy lithium-ion batteries that can be serviced, maintained and upgraded.

Worthmore: why we need a phonespiracy

WeWhoDo sat down with Tegan Spinner, Founder of Worthmore, to discuss the Phonespiracy and how we can give our old phones a new life responsibly while doing our bit for the planet!

Pip & Nut: Completely Nutty with a big helping of sustainability

WeWhoDo sat down with Jacq Ellis-Jones, Marketing Director and Curious Squirrel at Pip & Nut to discuss how they disrupted their category – not by adding complexity – but by creating a deliciously simple recipe that is good for the planet and people!

We spoke about their decision to move towards glass over plastic, their team of squirrels and what’s in store for them in the future.

MUST HAD: redefine and refashion

WeWhoDo sat down with Eugenio Riganty, co-founder of MUST HAD, to discuss how we can reduce fashion waste without compromising on style!