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Strategy For Saving Fuel Number

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Everyone who has made an airplane with paper knows that bending the sides of the wings makes your plane, not only much cooler but fly farther. Nowadays, airplanes tend to use this technology more regularly. So, the next time you see an airplane, look at the wing, as there is a great possibility that its end is bent up. You can also find that it is tilted gently smoothly like eagles do while there are flying.

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Although obviously these modifications are much more complicated, they perform the same aerodynamic role as the ends of the folded wings of a plane made of paper. Then, it is not only an aesthetic issue, but it is one of the most visible and used technologies of fuel saving and performance improvement in the aviation industry. This technology is based in two forces: lift and drag. Lifting is the one that makes possible that airplanes can fly. It is created by unequal pressure in a wing thanks to the air that flows around it. This way the aircraft has positive pressure under the wing and negative above it. Drag, however, provide resistance against the movement of the airplane. The main source of drag is the result of the huge pressure that we can find above the wing, which, in consequence, makes the air to flow upward on the tip of the wing and convert into a vortex. These also called as induced drag, have the enough power to annoy aircraft that fly very close to each other, and this is one of the reasons for the carefully monitored separation between flights at takeoff and in the air. The induced resistance reduces the efficacy of the airplanet, reducing the mileage, range and speed of the fuel. A typical Southwest Boeing 737-700 aircraft saves approximately 100,000 gallons of fuel each year.

The technology in general offers between 4 and 6 percent of fuel savings. A Boeing 747-400 consumes 3,411 gal. /hour. At $ 3 per gallon = $ 10,233 per hour. Then this plane can save up to 613. 98 $ per hour. It cost is about 1,060,000$ to install them in a 737-700 aircraft. However, in the new aircraft model they are already included. Although it is difficult to estimate how many hours a year these planes fly, because it depends on their schedule and type of aircraft, the average number of 2,500 hours/years would be used for the calculations. Then, the total earnings per year are 1,534,950 $ per year. Finally, it is possible to estimate the payback as the realized investment divided by the savings, this shows a total time of 8 months and 9 days.

This aerodynamic improvement has really good benefits and has a great payback, that´s why most of the airplanes are using winglets. What is more, here I have calculated only fuel savings, but it also has impact in time and the aircraft speed. To sum up, it seems a really good way to save fuel.

Strategy for saving fuel number 2

Satellite Navigation

Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) provide a great benefit to aviation by allowing aircraft to fly directly from departure to their destination using the routes with higher fuel efficiency and allowing them to navigate in difficult terrain at low altitude. Satellite navigation gives the alternative to design new procedures that allow aircrafts to fly closer between them to increase arrival and departure rates and perform continuous climb and descent operations to minimize fuel, noise and carbon emissions. Using the language of the aviation community, GNSS allows performance-based navigation, which consists of area navigation (RNAV) and required navigation performance (RNP) (Aviation Benefits from Satellite Navigation, Stanford University). Both RNAV and RNP can perform point-to-point flight paths without restrictions. RNP is different from RNAV, since it also have a monitoring and warning function that allows the pilot to be warned when a correction is required, in addition, this allows the aircraft to use tighter flight routes. GNSS is the only navigation source approved for RNP operations. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) is used by a huge range of users in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. These generalized costumers enjoy a location precision of 5 m worldwide, 24 h / day, in any climate. If the user needs greater precision, differential techniques are available to provide decimeter accuracy or even centimeter accuracy. Nowadays, Alaska Airlines uses GPS to help navigation in 30 airports in Alaska and the continental United States. They own a fleet of 117 Boeing 737 equipped with this technology, and its sister airline Horizon Air operates Bombardier Q400 turboprops with similar capacity.

According to Alaska Air, the airline performed 12,700 approach and departure procedures in 2011, avoiding the diversion of 1,545 flights through the use of GPS navigation. In that year, the airline used GPS to help reduce fuel use by 210,000 gallons. ( Aviation Benefits from Satellite Navigation, Stanford University). Using the same data as in the previous point, with a price of 3 $ per gallon, they can save a total amount of 610,000 $ per year, an its cost it is not comparable with that amount.

To sum up, this technology has multiple benefits to aircrafts, again I have just focused in fuel savings, however, it also has impact in time consuming and other factors related to the industry. In addition, the calculations have been made based on the company Alaska Airlines, so this data may not be applicable to other companies, but it can give us an idea of the possible savings. Finally, it is possible to say that it is a good alternative to save fuel.

Strategy for saving fuel number 3

Single-Taxi-Engine

When airplanes circulate on the surface of an airport, they consume a large amount of fuel. This is because the jet engines are designed to have an efficient operation of energy at high speeds and high altitudes, but when working on land they are much less efficient. A single engine can produce enough thrust to move an airplane on land. Then, airlines can reduce fuel consumption at airports by operating with all engines off except 1. If the aircraft is rolling for takeoff, the other engines will start several minutes early to allow the warm-up. If the plane landed and is rolling towards the boarding gate, all engines, except one, go off as soon as the plane leaves the runway. To understand this, some consideration must be made:

  • • Weight of the ramp: the greater the weight, the more power is needed to roll the plane.
  • • Ramp gradient: steep taxiways require more power.
  • • Heating and cooling period of the motor: a minimum interval of 2 minutes must be applied.
  • • The taxi time to the active runway must be estimated to start the second engine on time.
  • • Slippery or contaminated taxiways: in this scenario, you should avoid rolling with a single motor
  • • Increased workload of the pilot: it is not recommended to start the second engine during taxiing. ( Fuel Conservation Strategies Through Flight Operation Optimization at PGA, Técnico Lisboa)However, the periods of heating and cooling of the motor must be fulfilled to allow thermal stabilization of the motor. In addition, the second engine must be kept running for at least 2 minutes at idle before selecting high thrust or shutdown settings. What is more, when rolling, the second engine starts with the airplane static to avoid the pilot heads down condition (start-up checklist) during taxiing. Average fuel reduction per flight: up to 45 gallons, this means 135 $ per flight. We can assume that a 737 has an average of for flights per day, this means a save of 540 $ per day. In addition, 300 flight days are scheduled, then, the total amount of money goes up to 162,000$ per year and plane.

Conclusion

In this case, no technology is involved, we can say his savings ae based in fuel efficiency use of the aircraft. Actually, most of the American Airlines use this strategy, in fact, it is an easy way of saving money and fuel, without costs or technologies,

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