1. Alcoa today announced it has developed a new all-aluminum space frame and bus design for BYD that has reduced the weight of the new BYD Electric Bus body by 40 percent, or nearly one ton, versus steel options. The first two BYD Electric Bus prototypes were launched this week in Changsha City, Hunan Province, China.
Alcoa solutions including Alcoa forged wheels and Huck Spin® fasteners reduced the overall bus weight by 1.2 tons in total. The combined weight savings are expected to help improve the overall range of the electric bus by at least 10 percent. The new bus has a range of approximately 300 kilometers (188 miles) on a full charge.
2. Boeing announced today that the 737 MAX program has selected a 68-inch fan diameter for the optimized engine design that will provide the lowest fuel burn and operating costs in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX continues to receive overwhelming acceptance from customers with more than 600 order commitments received to date from eight airlines, up from 496 airplanes from five airlines when the program launched in August.
Firm configuration for the airplane is scheduled for 2013. First flight for the 737 MAX is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017.
Fuel costs and weight-based costs equating to nearly 30 percent of an airline’s operating costs.
The new 737 family will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines. The new-engine variant will have 10-12 percent lower fuel burn than current 737s and a 7-percent operating cost advantage over the competition. The airplane will have the capacity for increased range while providing better fuel efficiency than today’s already-efficient 737.
When compared to a fleet of 100 of today’s most fuel-efficient airplanes, this new model will emit 277,000 fewer tons of CO2 and save nearly 175 million pounds of fuel per year, which translates into $85 million in cost savings. The airplane’s fuel burn is expected to be 16 percent lower than our competitor’s current offering and 4 percent lower than their future offering.
The Boeing 737 is the world’s most popular and reliable commercial jet transport. The 737 family has won orders for more than 9,000 airplanes.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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