Students in Germany and the United States have until late June to submit their designs for quiet flying and efficient supersonic jets as part of a competition run by German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Contestants from seven Germany universities met Thursday (February 17, 2017) for an opening event in Hamburg’s Centre for Applied Aircraft Research (ZAL).
International co-operation and research
Some 63 students from seven German universities including the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) have formed eleven teams to tackle the challenge. A similar number of U.S. teams from diverse universities will also take part. The awards will each go to a winning team from Germany and the U.S. The winning German team gets a trip to NASA in autumn where they will present their work along with the victorious U.S. team. For a long time, DLR and NASA have focused jointly on research projects in air traffic management, noise and low-emission flying as well as test flights for analysing alternative fuels in aviation.
Environmental protection – low emission, quiet flying
Students can enter one of two categories – the first being climate change amid globally-rising mobility demands. Many technical boundaries have to be overcome to reconcile long-term, continuous growth with environmental compatibility. The competition has challenged students to come up with revolutionary new ideas for aircraft and drive concepts.
Supersonic speed is the challenge of the second category. The Concorde, a British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet airliner was operated until 2003 at a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound. Fourteen years later, the contest asks whether long-distance, supersonic transport can be revived using new technologies and without disproportionate pollution. Aviation research is already focusing on this challenge in a bid to improve energy efficiency and reduce the sonic boom. This would pave the technical path to the revival of supersonic flights.
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