Understanding box wing aircraft: essential technology to improve sustainability in the aviation industry
This paper presents an introduction to box wing aircraft technology, and an overview of current research efforts in this important area. Box wing technology offers a means of significantly reducing aircraft fuel consumption and hence improving economic sustainability. The result of this reduced fuel burn is a reduction in aircraft emissions, which will improve the environmental sustainability of the global aviation industry. This is important, because the industry has set an ambitious goal of reducing the current carbon emissions by 50% before 2050, in the face of continued exponential growth in demand. The motivation of this work is to ensure that sufficient education is provided at all levels of the aviation industry, to keep people informed, and to help them make decisions. That is, there is confusion about the fundamental principles involved in the aerodynamic improvements associated with these innovative aircraft configurations. As such, this work presents box wing technology in the context of the fundamental operational aerodynamics associated with their implementation, giving an understanding of the performance benefits associated with them, in addition to the other practical benefits associated with box wing configurations.