Airborne Awesomosity

Meanwhile, in the Ukraine…

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Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, in September, the world’s only production-ready unducted-fan aircraft resumed its test program. The on-again off-again political history of the Russo-Ukranian transporter, and the similarly parabolic story of unducted-fan engines is far more complicated than any of the concepts behind the technology. Unducted-fan engines can be properly thought of as special-case turboprops; the only real distinction is the unducted-fan propellers are optimized around slightly supersonic tip speeds. Regardless of the label, all but a small percentage of thrust comes from the propellers.

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