The future of aircraft design

  • Reading Time:3Minutes

NASA is collaborating with Boeing on a project to improve the sustainability of aircraft design, as part of its efforts to reduce fuel consumption. The $1.15 billion project aims to build and test a more fuel-efficient version of the Boeing 737, which currently accounts for nearly half of all domestic flights in the US. The new design will incorporate the latest advancements in aerodynamics and composite materials and could cut fuel usage by up to 30%.

If all goes well, the new aircraft could take its first flight in 2028 and become commercially available in the 2030s, bringing a major step forward in “green aviation”. NASA is also involved in developing other fuel-efficient technologies, such as upturned wing tips and more fuel-efficient takeoff and landing procedures, as well as electric propulsion and supersonic aircraft.

The new single-aisle aircraft design will include a cutting-edge design, a new set of engines, and long, slender wings that are stabilized with horizontal stabilizers. This configuration represents a major change in aerodynamics, with an increased aspect ratio of the wings to decrease drag. NASA has three main goals for the project: to design and test a new aircraft, to gather flight data to validate the technology, and to provide information to the industry for future aircraft design decisions.

NASA will be assuming the risk for the development and flight testing of the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD), which is considered an experimental aircraft. Testing will take place at Armstrong Air Force Base in California and will include wind tunnel tests and pilot simulations. NASA’s financial contribution will be $425 million, while Boeing will contribute $725 million.

While NASA will bring its technical expertise to the table, Boeing will bring its extensive knowledge of commercial aviation and its experience in integrating NASA’s innovations into existing aircraft.

The project will also bring financial benefits to Boeing, as the company predicts a need for 40,000 single-aisle aircraft between 2035-2050.

What will it run on?

The fuel that the SFD aircraft will run on was not specified in the information given. However, given that both NASA and Boeing have been actively involved in the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), it can be assumed that the engines of the SFD aircraft will run on sustainable jet fuel rather than conventional jet fuel in order to minimize carbon emissions. The ultra-thin wings, positioned above the fuselage and supported by spars, will create extra space underneath the wing for the advanced engines.

Recent article

Additional aircraft News & Articles

Airbus’s Hybrid Helicopter-Plane Racer

Air taxi News & Articles

Europe’s First Air Taxi Set to Launch in 2026

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

New water-based battery, even for electric vehicles

Drones News & Articles

Very fast kamikaze drone unveiled

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

The EU’s Regulatory Framework for Urban Air Mobility

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Biofuel-Powered eVTOLs

Flying Cars News & Articles

What will it be like to speed on the highways of the sky ?

News & Articles Points of interest

How Virtual Reality is Transforming Pilot Training for eVTOLs ?

Flying Cars News & Articles

Boeing would let flying cars into the air

Drones News & Articles

Remote refuelling drone

Drones News & Articles

More and more things are being delivered by drones

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

New design solves one of the biggest problems of eVTOLs

Electric airplane News & Articles

Advancements in Propulsion Technology

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Unraveling eVTOL Operational Costs and Solutions

Air taxi News & Articles

First urban air taxi services to start soon

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Biofuel-Powered Aircraft and Drones

Flying Cars News & Articles

The Resilience of Flying Cars in Adverse Weather Conditions
More articles you may be interested in...

News & Articles Propulsion-Fuel

Exploring Solid-State Batteries in eVTOL Applications: A Leap Towards Extended Range and Reliability

Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft represent a transformative advance in urban mobility, promising.......... READ MORE

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

New design solves one of the biggest problems of eVTOLs

Crisalion Mobility’s innovative eVTOL aircraft design solves a critical challenge in the field of electric.......... READ MORE

News & Articles Points of interest

One of the world’s biggest online stores to use missiles to deliver parcels

Alibaba promises to deliver a car to anywhere in the world in a day with.......... READ MORE

Electric airplane News & Articles

Advancements in Propulsion Technology

In the realm of aviation, the propulsion system acts as the heart of any aircraft,.......... READ MORE

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Unraveling eVTOL Operational Costs and Solutions

Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft are on the brink of revolutionizing urban mobility.......... READ MORE

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

Interoperability Challenges in Urban Air Mobility: Can EVTOLs, Drones, and Flying Cars Share the Skies ?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of urban air mobility (UAM), the dream of skies bustling.......... READ MORE

EVTOL & VTOL News & Articles

How are countries collaborating to standardize regulations, safety protocols, and infrastructure development for the seamless integration of eVTOLs and flying cars into global airspace ?

The rise of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) and flying cars is not.......... READ MORE

Air taxi News & Articles

First urban air taxi services to start soon

Test flights of the AutoFlight air taxi have been successful, and air taxi services will.......... READ MORE