One of the largest engineering facilities in Europe is launching a major project to design post 2025 airliners. And one of the designs is saucer shaped.
They're trying to design a 125 seat airliner that's the most environmental friendly airplane ever conceived.
Besides a huge reduction in emissions (>50% in CO2, and >80% in NO
The designers know some major breakthrough will be required, that's the idea—to come up with innovative ideas that can stiumulate a breakthrough. Initial thinking is to move away from a traditional cylinder-shaped fuselage to bubble or double-bubble flying saucer shapes.