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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
'Silent aircraft' design launched
Silent jet
The flying wing design of a new aircraft makes it silent in the sky
Plans for the world's first completely silent aircraft have been unveiled by Cambridge University engineers.

Environmental campaigners and people living on flight paths have already welcomed the campaign to build the jet.

Now it could become a reality some time in the next decade and Luton Airport is to be a partner in the venture.

The main development is a new shape for the aircraft after engineers identified traditional designs caused much of the noise at landing and take-off.

The new aircraft is basically a flying wing and would be inaudible once it left the airport.

Noise dampened

Project manager Paul Collins said: "It's a radically different design from the traditional tube and wing we are all used to flying in.

"For passengers we think it will be like flying in a cinema or theatre seat.

"People are used to that and I think they will be very comfortable with the new design."

The project is an intitiative of, and is funded by, the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

Cambridge's engineering department has gone even further to dampen noise and the solution is to mount the engines on top of the aircraft so much of the noise would be generated upwards.

The initial prototype design should be finished within 12 months and it is hoped test models might be made within the next decade.

Airport joining 'silent' jet team
18 Jan 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Flying into a silent sky future
27 May 04 |  Science/Nature
Joint quest for silent air travel
20 May 04 |  Cambridgeshire

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