Will airliners always look the same as they do today? The answer is taking shape in research centers in Europe and the US, but will depend on when Airbus and Boeing begin designing their next generation of all-new aircraft. Today’s tube-and-wing, engines-under-wing layout has served the industry well, advances in airframe and propulsion technology delivering steady reductions in fuel consumption since the Boeing 707 entered service in 1957. But many in the industry believe the ...

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