Shabtai Hirshberg - Redesigning a Commercial Aircraft project

Jul 20, 2012
Author: Shabtai Hirshberg
Photos: Shabtai Hirshberg
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Shabtai Hirshberg, who recently graduate from the Transportation Design MFA program at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Michigan, present his project.

Shabtai Hirshberg: "The Graduating Thesis topic I chose was: “Redesigning a Commercial Aircraft".For my thesis I performed in-depth research on the commercial aviation market.Revolutionary improvement, design thinking, innovation and change were allincorporated in my project design for the near future aircraft, an aviationleap.

Commercial aviation is a rapidly growing market, all forecasts areestimating at least a one hundred percent increase in the number of flights by2030 (flowing the the leap in the global middle class (66% Asia-pacific)), andfuel prices are constantly on the rise. As today’s fuel prices climb, airlinesbecome less profitable, air fares go up and airlines are closer to theprofitability tipping point. As a result airlines are making major cutbacks,(e.g. passengers are losing comfort and legroom).

The new airplanes (e.g. the Boeing 787) are designed in the safe“Pipe-and-Wings” form. This configuration is at its limit of incrementaloptimization. This is where the Aerocruiser comes in.

Unlike current designs, my design is based on the lifting-bodyconcept where the fuselage contributes to the general lift thus reducing fuelcosts by an estimated 30%, enabling a significant extended range ofdestinations and landing terrains, shortening turnover time and providingimproved passenger comfort and experience. I designed, integrated and optimizedthe aircraft by working closely with aeronautical analysis engineers from NEVOAnalysis Consulting Group, and revisited all aspects of the design and use fromthe ground up: structure, technologies, scenario of use, materials, and propulsionsystems".

New lightweight ‘smart’ materials Nanocomposites allow the molded laminated glasslike window  to serve as a strong structural part and collect solar power and at the same time control  the transparency by electro-chromic window. This one large smooth window replaces the all the small traditional windows and creates a smother air-flow and thus has a significant drag reduction

On the front of the aircraft are Retractable dynamic canard wings providing extra lift in slow speeds (takeoff and landing) and providing stability in turbulence in water landing. the canard acts as a hydrofoil fin during water taxing landing and takeoff.
Egress and ingress via a large jet way will lead in to the rear eliminating the “bottle neck” long lines waiting to board the aircraft. The new Jet way will lead into 3 isles. In addition the large opening will enable essay Loading of equipment new large entry provides maintenance crews easy loading when changing various cabin configurations.
The aircraft uses highly efficient hybrid power engines powered by biofuel from algae paired with an electric motor generated by solar panels that convert UV in day and infrared at night.

The engines are Duct hybrid turboprop fans, Mounted above the wings appropriate for an amphibian vessel, acting as a shield to reduce external noise pollution. The engines intakes are extended over on the passenger side providing an extra sound barrier for the cabin comfort. The engine thrustis used for vectoring and in addition is directed to blow over the trailing edge of the wing thus producing in addition to the thrust high lift enabling STOL capability for dense urban landing and use of small air fields. The short Wing length, due to the lifting body providing most of the lift, enables use of small terminals.  In the United States alone, there are 13,400 small airports that are not currently utilized for large commercial traffic. Using these existing airports could potentially reduce the pressure in the large hub airports.
Morphing adjustable Winglets and wing camber optimizes the wing configuration for the various flight segments and conditions, using carbon nanotube artificially stimulated muscle by electric pulse. The winglet expands the wing length in takeoff and landing and reduces drag during flight, in water landing and takeoff the winglets are side stabilizers

The seating is in a Stadium seating configuration so everyone has a forward viewing window the fuselage and entire aircraft structure is manufactured from composite to take advantage of the easy-to-shape and strength characteristics of the material. The wings are located in the rear creating a lift balance. The seating is in 4sets of 3seats in a row each seat is setback from the next providing privacy. Once at cruise height observation lunge is open to passengers providing a relaxing social environment

Most of the aircraft lift is generated by the fuselage. It is designed as a large airfoil. The lifting body provides a large species interior and better aerodynamics. The short Wing length, due to the lifting body providing most of the lift, permits use of small terminals.

Amphibious landing capability eliminates the dependency on runways. It includes runway landing gear as well as a smooth marine structure hull. This differentiates it from any large passenger aircraft known concept. During Marin takeoff cabin pressurization is released in the hull by air jet streams to enable an easy separation from the water. Traditional hull step is aerodynamically disruptive in transonic speeds. 

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