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Cranfield students design a propeller-powered regional airliner

A fuel efficient propeller-powered aircraft designed by students at Cranfield University was unveiled as part of the annual Aerospace Vehicle Design Presentation last week.  

Sixty-four Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc students have each given 1000hrs since September last year to designing the A-8 Hummingbird.  

The aim of the project was to design a lighter and greener airliner suitable for both commercial and military use.  

The 70-seater turbo-prop (propeller-powered) advanced regional aircraft boasts fuel efficiency and the capability of short take-off and landing.  

Course Director, Phil Stocking said: "The work and imagination that has gone into this project is evidence of the innovative thinking and research taking place in aircraft design. The A-8 Hummingbird is the perfect showcase of how to use composite materials to lesson the fuel consumption and improve the agility of the aircraft."  

The 7 May presentation was attended by 200 guests from industry, the military and academia. Representatives from the major manufacturers such as EADS, Boeing and Airbus were also present.  

The MSc Group Design Project from the University's School of Engineering is now sponsored by Boeing.  

David Paisley, Technical Fellow from The Boeing Company, said: "Boeing is particularly pleased to again be sponsoring this year's Aerospace Vehicle Design challenge. The pursuit of enhanced environmental performance is vital to Boeing's research and technology endeavors. Challenging young minds in such a way, pays dividends in terms of enhancing the future skills and creating the intellectual capacity on which our industry thrives".  

Cranfield has been at the forefront of aerospace technology for over 60 years and plays a key role in the aerospace sector. Last year Cranfield students presented their concept for a new air refueling tanker designed to provide all-weather air refueling for military aircraft including unmanned air vehicles as well as for civil airliners.

Press release issued by Cranfield University Aerospace on May 12, 2009


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