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The Weird-Looking, Fuel-Efficient Planes You Could Be Flying In One Day

Engineers are exploring radical new designs for commercial planes that would use less energy and lower emissions. But will passengers be willing to board them?

Modern airliner designs date from the 1950s: a metal tube and swept-back wings with jet engines slung underneath. They get you where you’re going and back. But after decades of research, something very different could be flying you on vacation by the late 2030s.

Unconventional designs such as “blended-wing” shapes now used for some military jets, which combine the cabin and wings in one piece, have been floated for years as possibilities for passenger aircraft. Now the rise of climate-change concerns and emergence of new manufacturing materials have brought a rethink a step closer to reality, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration say.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Russia Trouble Causes Aircraft Lessors Little Turbulence

Finance companies that buy and lease out airliners have a problem: Planes they own that are collectively worth billions of dollars are trapped in Russia.

Still, the risk of major losses for investors is relatively small, a new Moody's analysis finds.

The airliners, leased to Russian airlines and stuck there since Russia's ties with the West dissolved this year, are only a small portion of global leasing fleets: less than 10%, for the companies Moody's tracks.

Plus, insurance contracts should help the aircraft lessors—companies such as AerCap Holdings and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise—eventually recover some of the value of their lost planes. Claims could reach around $11 billion, per Moody's.

That could take time. But meanwhile, lessors may be able to sell the rights to their insurance claims to other investors. That would help the leasing companies sooner fund purchases of more planes, which they could lease out to other airlines to make up for some of the lost leasing revenue from the Russian airlines.

Other tailwinds are helping minimize the pain from the Russian freeze-out. Coming out of the pandemic, global travel demand is strengthening again. Meanwhile, Airbus and Boeing have been slow to deliver new jetliners, boosting the going rate for the planes in the leasing companies' fleets.

Excerpt from WSJ
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