PrandtlPlane: the aircraft of the future is taking shape at the University of Pisa
Wider aisles, a 50% increase in the number of potential passengers for each flight, and a higher number of entry and exit doors to reduce embarkation and disembarkation times are some of the characteristics of the aircraft of the future PrandtlPlane, which is taking shape at the University of Pisa with the European project PARSIFAL, funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020.
The PARSIFAL project – the acronym of Prandtlplane ARchitecture for the Sustainable Improvement of Future AirpLanes – was funded with the objective of improving the aviation sector through an innovative configuration of aircrafts, to improve the capabilities of transporting passengers and to reduce fuel consumption. The project gathers six European partners under the leadership of the University of Pisa.
One year after its launch, the PARSIFAL project has led to the development of a 1:50 scale model of the aircraft with its innovative wing configuration, with wings which “support” the fuselage both at the front and in the back area, with benefits in terms of reduction in aerodynamic resistance and optimization of inside room.
“PrandtlPlane is the most promising solution to the problem of the future increase in requests from the civil aviation sector which, with the upcoming saturation that will affect airport areas, which is already facing issues due to the excessively high number of flights – said Aldo Frediani from the University of Pisa, coordinator of the research project. – The new technological solutions adopted in the PrandtlPlane will also help to reduce specific consumption, environmental pollution and running costs: this is the main issue the PARSIFAL researchers will be focusing on during the next phase of activity”, concluded Frediani.
Studies of the market carried out in the first year of the PARSIFAL project have shown that in the next twenty years airplane traffic will increase up to 50% in terms of short and medium range continental routes. Following these results, the team of researchers has decided to orientate the initial setting up of the aircraft of the future.