NASA has announced that it will be providing Boeing with $425 million over the next seven years to develop and test a new type of fuel-efficient airplane with ultra-thin wings. This innovative design could potentially result in fuel savings of up to 30%, and pave the way for the aviation industry’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The concept, called the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW), involves building an aircraft with extra-long, extra-thin wings that extend over the top of the fuselage. Additional stabilization would be provided by diagonal struts attached beneath the fuselage.
“It represents an opportunity to design, build and fly a full-scale experimental plane while solving novel technical problems,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief engineer and executive vice president of engineering.
Boeing has already invested 0 million in recent phases of sustainable aviation research, including wind tunnel testing for the TTBW design under NASA’s Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research program.
The project will be a significant step towards achieving the aviation industry’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and will be a major contribution to a sustainable future. The TTBW demonstrator aircraft will serve as a testbed for new technologies and designs that will inform industry decisions about the next generation of single-aisle aircraft.
NASA’s goal is that the technology flown on the demonstrator aircraft, when combined with other advancements in propulsion systems, materials, and systems architecture, would result in fuel consumption and emissions reductions of up to 30% relative to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft, depending on the mission.
The partnership between NASA and Boeing, along with industry partners, is expected to pave the way for a greener future of air travel and demonstrate a clear path towards reducing the environmental impact of aviation_