Rocket Science Scale: 5 – Actual Rocket Science
For my Senior Design Project at U of I, the project was to design a small business aircraft that would sell for somewhere between 5-7 million dollars and meet a bunch of design requirements. My group (Team Aerohead) designed the Nock 2.
I was the “propulsion” engineer on the team, and I put the propulsion in quotes because I really just chose an engine and made sure it worked with the design requirements. Another part of my work was to do some trade studies that had to deal with the engine. So the easy one was “What engine did you chose for the aircraft?” and was basically the sum of all the research I did.
The other trade study I did was on biofuels. I looked into which ones were available, pretended they were economically feasible, and then tried to determine which one would be the best for the Nock 2. The one thing that I learned from the study was that biofuels are expensive and not as readily available as traditional jet fuel. Even though the impact can would be better for the environment, it seemed the technology is not quite ready for commercial use.
So it makes me happy to see that Boeing is trying to make it affordable and available.