Written by Lord B of W

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Friday, 16 May 2008

This is the passenger plane experts say could help the aviation industry become green.

Developed by little known UK based budget airline EasyFly, it could cut carbon emissions by 25 per cent thanks to its construction from lighter materials such as compacted cardboard.

A model of the plane goes on display at the Science Museum today as part of a new exhibition focusing on the environmental impact of air travel.

EasyFly says a full-size version could take to the skies by 2016. The firm is discussing the project with Boeing, Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

Other exhibits include an aircraft model designed by Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology billed as the first "silent" plane.

It has no engines but is instead fired like a paper plane, its streamlined wings provide efficient "lift" distribution and low cruise drag.

The team behind the concept aircraft, known as the DART-40, says any noise would be "imperceptible" and the plane could cut carbon emissions by 25 per cent. It could become a reality by 2030.

Museum director Professor Chris Beardy said: "This exhibition is an ideal opportunity for visitors to see how scientists and engineers are working together to tackle aviation's environmental impact and produce the aircraft of tomorrow."

The exhibition, sponsored by TheSpoof.com, is in the Antenna gallery and runs until November. Admission is free.

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