NASA and Boeing announced today that they will collaborate to build a demonstration aircraft that will be used to test emission-reducing technologies in aviation. The project, called the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator, will be funded by NASA with $425 million, while Boeing will contribute the remaining $725 million. The demonstrator aircraft will be used to test the design of longer, thinner wings stabilized by diagonal struts. This technology would reduce fuel consumption and therefore emissions.
New planes developed by NASA and Boeing will use a new design with wings stabilized by diagonal struts
Through this project, a demonstration aircraft with the new diagonal strut wings will be developed and tested. NASA hopes that the technology used on this aircraft, combined with other advances in propulsion systems, materials and architecture, will lead to a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of up to 30% compared to today’s most efficient aircraft.
“NASA is working toward an ambitious goal of developing innovative technologies to reduce energy consumption and emissions from aviation in the coming decades, with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality in 2050.”, said Bob Pearce, NASA’s associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Directorate.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with NASA and demonstrate a technology that improves aerodynamic efficiency and significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions.”, said Todd Citron, CTO of Boeing.
The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator tests will be completed before 2030 so that the technologies and design can be considered by the airline industry for implementation in new single-aisle airplane designs to start. These aircraft could begin operations as early as the 2030s. Single-aisle aircraft are the most popular in aviation worldwide and are responsible for 50% of aviation’s carbon emissions.