During this pivotal moment for the aviation sector, where the imperative to meet escalating travel demands clashes with the urgent need to diminish its environmental impact, Bombardier, the renowned Canadian aerospace manufacturer, is spearheading a revolution with its groundbreaking creation: the Blended Wing EcoJet (see Figure 1). This visionary concept can potentially redefine the future landscape of private aviation on multiple fronts.
Figure 1: Artist Concept of the Bombardier Blended Wing EcoJet
Amidst mounting concerns regarding climate change and the need for sustainable practices, the aviation industry is under ever-increasing pressure to curtail its ecological footprint. Bombardier’s Blended Wing EcoJet emerges as a beacon of hope, pointing toward a greener era for private aviation.
Diverging radically from the conventional aircraft blueprint, the Blended Wing EcoJet showcases an innovative blended wing-body design. Unlike the typical tube-and-wing configuration, this aircraft seamlessly integrates its fuselage and wings into a singular, aerodynamically streamlined structure.
One of the most compelling features of this design lies in its remarkable fuel efficiency enhancement. By mitigating drag and optimizing airflow across the entirety of the aircraft, this design drastically reduces fuel consumption in contrast to traditional private jets. Preliminary estimates suggest that the EcoJet could slash emissions by an amazing 50%, marking a groundbreaking achievement within the aviation realm.
Furthermore, Bombardier ingeniously crafted the Blended Wing EcoJet to be adaptable to emerging propulsion technologies, including sustainable aviation fuel, battery-electric power, and hydrogen fuel cells, positioning the company at the forefront of innovation.
This revolutionary endeavour didn’t materialize overnight; Bombardier dedicated over a decade to refining blended-wing technology. The successful testing of the initial model—merely 7% the size of a standard business jet—marked a pivotal milestone, paving the way for the second phase of testing with a model twice its predecessor’s size.
Steve McCollough, Bombardier’s Vice President of Engineering and Chief of Aircraft Design and Development, emphasized the significance of this research project. He stated, “The research project has garnered a high level of interest across the industry, and we are looking forward to mobilizing partners as we continue to define the future of business aviation.”
Bombardier’s Blended Wing EcoJet presents optimism for private aviation, ushering in an era of cleaner, more efficient, and enjoyable air travel. With each step forward, this pioneering aircraft concept sets a new gold standard for sustainability within the industry, promising a transformative journey into the future of aviation.
Editor’s note: EnviroTREC is focused on the aerospace industry, particularly with commercial passenger aircraft and, of course, the required gas turbine engines. The point in presenting this story is that innovation in aerospace has many entry points. In this case, an entry point for blended body and wing has been indicated for a smaller aircraft – the private jet niche. Bombardier has extensive connections to the larger passenger-focused aerospace industry, and we can expect that these partners will pick up the technological advances which are accomplished.