NASA and Boeing Partnership to Develop Eco-Friendly Single-Aisle Airplanes
NASA has granted The Boeing Company an award for the agency's Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, which aims to pave the way for a new generation of green single-aisle airliners.
Under a Funded Space Act Agreement, Boeing will collaborate with NASA to construct, test, and fly a full-scale demonstrator aircraft, and to validate technologies that aim to lower emissions.
NASA will invest $425 million in the project over seven years, with Boeing and its partners contributing the remaining funds, estimated at around $725 million.
As part of the agreement, NASA will also provide technical expertise and access to facilities.
The goal of the project is to produce a more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly commercial airliner that could be in service by the 2030s.
Single-aisle aircraft are the backbone of many airline fleets and, due to their heavy usage, they account for almost half of worldwide aviation emissions.
NASA plans to complete testing for the project by the late 2020s, so that technologies and designs demonstrated by the project can inform industry decisions about the next generation of single-aisle aircraft that could enter into service in the 2030s.
The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept involves an aircraft with extra-long, thin wings stabilized by diagonal struts, resulting in a shape that creates less drag and is more fuel-efficient than traditional airliners.
Boeing has been advancing a multipronged sustainability strategy and has been working on advanced sustainable aviation concepts, including the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept.
NASA aims to reduce aviation energy use and emissions over the coming decades and achieve an aviation community goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.