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This is what planes could look like by 2050

We won't pretend to understand aeroplanes.

You can describe air foils to us, and attempt to explain how air moving faster over wing will decrease pressure and create lift - but when faced with the spectacle of an 574,000 kg A380 taking off, none of that really makes sense.

So, in similar fashion, we'll just nod in accepting fashion when Dutch airline KLM and the Delft University of Technology tell us that this is what the future of aviation looks like.

Designed as part of the AHEAD study (Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development), this craft features a 'blended wing body' design which reduces drag and makes for a more efficient use of fuel. It also looks like something out of the concept books for Star Wars

With space for for 300 passengers, the AHEAD plane would have a maximum range of 14,000 kilometres (a touch shy of London to Perth) - thanks in part to this reduced drag and some nifty engine technology. Rather than using the turbofan system of today's jet engines, the AHEAD engineers propose using a hybrid system, using two different types of combustion: the first combustor burns either cryogenic hydrogen or liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the second combustor burns either kerosene or biofuel. This not only increases thrust, it also reduces fuel use. Like we said - we won't pretend to understand how.

KLM envisages these technologies becoming common place from 2050. Until then, we'll just have to make do with being confused by the good old fashioned unblended bodies and old engines.

(Images: KLM)

[Via: Dezeen]