Expert View

Energy is Key to Shape of Commercial Flights in the Future

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaufui Vincent Wong

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Miami,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 3, 2014; final manuscript received January 5, 2015; published online April 6, 2015. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 137(4), 044701 (Jul 01, 2015) (3 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1397; doi: 10.1115/1.4029739 History: Received December 03, 2014; Revised January 05, 2015; Online April 06, 2015

Compared to military flight, speed, maneuverability, and stealth are not of foremost importance in consideration for commercial flights planned for the future. Increased laminar flow over the wings, a power source that is renewable and affordable, together with greater passenger safety, seems to be the top design considerations. Manned solar flight, which has already been demonstrated for short hauls, has already succeeded. The success and future of solar-powered flight for the flying public depends on research and development in this area. The inspiration from flight record breakers like Steve Fossett and solar-powered flight pioneers like Piccard and Borschberg should not be underestimated. They have put mechanical and aerospace engineers again at the forefront of the aircraft industry.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


O’Donoghue, D., 2014, “Featured Presentation: Testing the Future of Flight—Boeing's ecoDemonstrator Program,” Invited Congress Wide Plenary Speaker, Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, IMECE 2014, Montreal, QC, Nov. 14–20.
Boucher, R. J., 1984, “History of Solar Flight,” AIAA Paper No. 84-1429. [CrossRef]
Brandt, S. A., and Gilliam, F. T., 1995, “Design Analysis Methodology for Solar-Powered Aircraft,” J. Aircr., 32(4), pp. 703–709. [CrossRef]
Noth, A., Siegwart, R., and Engel, W., 2008, “Design of Solar Powered Airplanes for Continuous Flight,” Ph.D. dissertation, ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.
Carrington, D., 2014, “Abu Dhabi's New Record? Solar-Powered Flight,” CNN, Accessed Nov. 28, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/25/world/meast/abu-dhabis-newest-record-solar-powered-flight/
Wikipedia, “Bertrand Piccard,” Accessed Nov. 28, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Piccard
Wikipedia, “Around the World in Eighty Days,” Accessed Nov. 28, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days
Wikipedia, “Hot Air Balloon,” Accessed Nov. 28, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_balloon
Carpenter, A. L., Saric, W. S., and Reed, H. L., 2008, “Laminar Flow Control on a Swept Wing With Distributed Roughness,” AIAA Paper No. 2008-7335. [CrossRef]
Rhodes, R. G., Reed, H. L., Saric, W. S., and Carpenter, A. L., 2010, “Roughness Receptivity in Swept-Wing Boundary Layers–Computations,” Int. J. Eng. Syst. Modell. Simul., 2(1), pp. 139–148.
Carpenter, A. L., Saric, W. S., and Reed, H. L., 2010, “Roughness Receptivity in Swept-Wing Boundary Layers–Experiments,” Int. J. Eng. Syst. Modell. Simul., 2(1), pp. 128–138.
Saric, W. S., Carpenter, A. L., and Reed, H. L., 2011, “Passive Control of Transition in Three-Dimensional Boundary Layers, With Emphasis on Discrete Roughness Elements,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc., A, 369(1940), pp. 1352–1364. [CrossRef]
Belisle, M. J., Roberts, M. W., Williams, T. C., Tufts, M. W., Tucker, A. A., Saric, W. S., and Reed, H. L., 2012, “A Transonic Laminar-Flow Wing Glove Flight Experiment: Overview and Design Optimization,” AIAA Paper No. 2012-2667. [CrossRef]
Duncan, G. T., Crawford, B. K., Tufts, M. W., Saric, W. S., and Reed, H. L., 2014, “Flight Experiments on the Effects of Step Excrescences on Swept-Wing Transition,” Int. J. Eng. Syst. Modell. Simul., 6(3), pp. 171–180.
LockheedMartin, 2014, “Restarting the Atomic Age,” Accessed Dec. 1, 2014, http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/compact-fusion.html
Berton, J. J., Freeh, J. E., and Wickenheiser, T. J., 2003, “An Analytical Performance Assessment of a Fuel Cell-Powered, Small Electric Airplane,” Proceedings of the Symposium on Novel and Emerging Vehicle Technology Concepts, Brussels, Belgium, Apr. 7–11.
Wikipedia, “Steve Fossett,” Accessed Dec. 01, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Fossett
“List of Records Established by 'Steve FOSSETT (USA)',” History of Aviation and Space World Records, Federation Aeronautique Internationale, Archived From the Original on Apr. 13, 2009, Retrieved June 5, 2009. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Fossett#Records
Wikipedia, “Green Flight Challenge,” Accessed Dec. 3, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Challenges#Green_flight_challenge
Wikipedia, “Electric Airplanes,” Accessed Dec. 1, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_aircraft
Grady, M., 2011, “Lindbergh Prize Goes to Pipistrel,” AvWeb, Retrieved Apr. 21, 2011. Available at: http://www.avweb.com/search/index.html?zkDo=search&sort_field=story_date&query=lindbergh+prize+pipistrel
Wong, K. V., Dai, Y., and Paul, B., 2012, “Anthropogenic Heat Release Into the Environment,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 134(4), p. 041602. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., and Chaudhry, S., 2012, “Use of Satellite Images for Observational and Quantitative Analysis of Urban Heat Islands Around the World,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 134(4), p. 042101. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., Paddon, A., and Jimenez, A., 2013, “Review of World Urban Heat Island: Many Linked to Increased Mortality,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 135(2), p. 022101. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., 2014, “Recommendations for Energy Water Nexus Problems,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 136(3), p. 034701. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., and Pecora, C., 2014, “Recommendations for Energy–Water–Food Nexus Problems,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 137(3), p. 032002. [CrossRef]
Wong, K. V., 2014, “Energy–Water–Food Nexus and Recommendations for Security,” ASME J. Energy Res. Technol., 137(3), p. 034701. [CrossRef]




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In