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Carbon Composites To Increase Aircraft Fuel Efficiency


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Reducing the airfares is one of the most important ways of garnering market shares. The airlines all over the world prefer to buy those airplanes which have a good operational efficiency in terms of fuel consumption. When it comes to reducing the airfares, the most commonly applied methods are of increasing the levels of efficiencies in all-round, in-flight and on-ground operations of the airplanes and selecting those airplanes which are fuel-efficient. To increase the level of efficiency of airplanes, the manufacturing companies devise newer methods of developing the aircraft to reduce the weight of the aircraft. The general principle is that lesser is the weight of the aircraft, lesser is the consumption of the fuel which increases the efficiency level of the aircraft, making it possible for the companies to earn more profits or to fuel their growth by offering cheap air tickets to the passengers.

The recent development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is a case in the pointer. The aircraft is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the similar aircraft operating on same routes. This has been made possible by the innovation in the manufacturing technologies of the aircraft. The primary reason for achieving this level of fuel efficiency is that the body of the 787 Dreamliner is made of carbon composites instead of the aluminum metal which has resulted in reduction of the weight of the aircraft.

Aviation is witnessing a boom since a lot of people have begun to travel on domestic and international routes and even the frequency of the travel has increased considerably over the past few years. The reduction of the price of airfares has been a significant factor behind this growth. Since fuel prices account for a major part of the prices of flight tickets, more efficiency can make it possible for the network carriers as well as the LCCs to pass on the benefit to the customers. For this reason, the development of a new aircraft which is 20 percent more fuel efficient is likely to further reduce the airfares. At the same time, it is also likely to make a big difference between the haves and have-nots of this airplane. The emergence of the LCCs as key players in the aviation markets worldwide, due to their simpler approach to aviation, is also likely to be challenged in the long term by the competitors who have this fuel efficient aircraft.

The author keenly observes the civil aviation market world-over with focus on the Indian aviation. He believes that the recent introduction of Dreamliner in the Air India fleet could set in a new level of competition with LCC carriers such as Indigo .

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