In 1902, the biggest challenge for the Wright Brothers was to design a lighter engine for the Wright Flyer as the existing engines were too heavy, while a more efficient propeller also had to be created. Reducing weight and increasing propulsion efficiency have been aviation’s constant companions ever since. Since development of the high-bypass turbofan some 45 years ago, advances in engines and airframe materials have tended to be evolutionary. Achieving the operational and ...

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