NASA Pushes Advanced Aircraft Concepts Studies

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Over the next 12 months, two teams will study ways for future airliners entering service in 2025 to meet NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project that seeks a reduction of noise, emissions and fuel burn while integrating those reductions into a single aircraft that can still safely operate in today’s modern airspace.

The two teams selected are led by Lockheed Martin of Palmdale, CA and Northrop Grumman of El Segundo, CA. The total contract is for $5.64 million with $2.99 million awarded to Lockheed Martin and $2.65 million awarded to Northrop Grumman.

The goal is for an airliner flying at up to Mach 0.85, or 85% of the speed of sound, to cover a range of 7,000 nautical miles carrying 50,000 to 100,000 lbs. of payload in the form of either cargo or passengers while burning 50% less fuel, giving off 50% less emissions and decreasing the aircraft’s noise by 83%.

Breakthroughs in any one of the areas would be immensly competative; meeting all three would allow a future airliner key advantages over its competitors. As an example, the Boeing 787 is 20% more fuel efficient that existing aircraft, part of the reason for this plane currently being the most sought after in the market.

NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project is part of the Integrated Systems Research Program managed by the agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington.

For information about NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project, visit:
http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/isrp/era/index.htm

For information about NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, visit:
http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov

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