NASA selects Boeing as partner for testing emission-efficient aircraft design
Last week, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued an award to The Boeing Company for the agency’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project. NASA and Boeing will be partnering to try and revolutionise fuel-efficient design of single-aisled aircraft. Together, the pair will “build, test, and fly a full-scale demonstrator aircraft and validate technologies aimed at lowering emissions.”
Boeing and NASA will develop a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft. The aim is to influence industry decisions regarding the next generation of single-aisle aircraft. These planes currently account for nearly half of worldwide aviation emissions and estimates predict demand for single-aisle aircraft will increase by 40,000 planes between 2035 and 2050.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said:
“It’s our goal that NASA’s partnership with Boeing to produce and test a full-scale demonstrator will help lead to future commercial airlines that are more fuel efficient, with benefits to the environment, the commercial aviation industry, and to passengers worldwide. If we are successful, we may see these technologies in planes that the public takes to the skies in the 2030s.”
Bob Pearce, NASA associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate elaborated:
“The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing is the kind of transformative concept and investment we will need to meet those challenges and, critically, the technologies demonstrated in this project have a clear and viable path to informing the next generation of single-aisle aircraft, benefitting everyone that uses the air transportation system.”
The hope is to complete testing for the project by the late 2020s, so that technologies and design aspects can be integrated into the next generation of single-aisle aircraft entering service in the 2030s. It is estimated that in conjunction with other advancements the technology could reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30 per-cent relative to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft.
Article by Jess Brownlow