Will Planes Be Pilotless? The Future of Commercial Aviation

News related to driverless cars is becoming increasingly popular in recent years, and these self-driving vehicles may be on the market as early as next year. Several large companies such as Google, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Apple, Microsoft and many more, are investing in the driverless technologies that will soon provide us with our ground transportation, …

Is air traffic optimisation really that important?

Over the last 20 years the number of aircraft that are handled by airports has increased dramatically and continues to rise, according to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). Transportation with aircraft is becoming cheaper as low cost airlines become more popular. For the first time ever the total number of UK passengers passing through UK airport …

Spending time in industry during the PhD

Very often, successful achievements in industry benefit from extensive research work performed in universities – with whom industry can collaborate with on multiple levels, ranging from the sharing of knowledge to hosting complex, dedicated test rigs. Engagement between young researchers, with a fresh and comprehensive understanding of the underlying physics and mathematics involved in engineering …

An insight into the future of in-flight experience: the good, the promising and the ugly

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”. Ernest Hemingway might have used it in a very different context but if you travel quite frequently on long/short haul flights, you begin to understand the significance of having a comfortable experience on-board… I’m quite used …

Cryogenic applications for visionary aircraft concepts

The ambitious long-term environmental targets set by the European Commission (2011) and the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) require airframers and their suppliers to improve the integration between an aircraft’s propulsion system and the airframe… In particular, concepts such as the distribution of the thrust generation along an airframe’s main components and …

A human factors study on helicopter pilot performance

With very few exceptions, going to the office is mostly a dull experience acceleration wise. That is until one day when instead of taking the usual bus to work you get on a plane to Aberdeen, and instead of sitting on the usual three-degrees-of-freedom office chair you find yourself in a six-degrees-of-freedom full Airbus Helicopters …

INNOVATE and AVIO AERO: Bringing Industry and Academia Together

INNOVATE is a University of Nottingham European-funded doctoral training program that offers a researcher the opportunity to study for a PhD as well as spending a minimum period of six months in a company. Here INNOVATE Early Stage Researcher (ESR), Sara Roggia, talks about her role as part of the INNOVATE project and her secondment …

Levitation spell (magnetic levitation technology)

Since the beginning of time humans have dreamed of possessing great magical powers. The power of casting fire, strong winds and many other traits which are supposedly possessed by divinities, heroes and magicians of the saintly days of yore.  One of them is the art of making objects float in the air. In the Necronomicon of …

Feedback control of unsteady flows: using plasma to improve aircraft aerodynamics

Flow control is a fast growing multidisciplinary science aimed at altering a natural flow state into a more desired state, which could be chosen depending on control objectives (e.g. manipulation of flow separation and flow reattachment, drag reduction, noise suppression, etc.). It incorporates essential and non-trivial elements of fluid dynamics, numerical methods and control theory and this is …

What will future aircraft look like?

Nowadays travelling by plane has become a common habit. We can reach different continents in a few hours and with an ever increasing level of comfort. That’s even more impressive if one considers that the first flight took place just a little more than a century ago.  Since then progress has been made in leaps …