Aircraft all look the same these days because the traditional tube-and-wing shape works well, both technically and operationally. To convince manufacturers to change direction would take a compelling demonstration of the benefits of a different approach. A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a stir in 2010 when it unveiled an unconventional “double-bubble” airliner concept, claiming it could reduce fuel burn by 49% relative to today's Boeing 737-800 without ...

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