Future airplane concepts
In October 2008, NASA initiated an 18-month NASA research effort to visualize the passenger airplanes of the future and asked industry and academia to imagine what the future might bring and develop advanced concepts for aircraft that can satisfy anticipated commercial air transportation needs while meeting specific energy efficiency, environmental and operational goals in 2030 and beyond. The studies were intended to identify key technology development needs to enable the envisioned advanced airframes and propulsion systems.
Look more closely at these concepts for airplanes that may enter service 20 to 25 years from now and you'll see things that are quite different from the aircraft of today.
Just beneath the skin of these concepts lie breakthrough airframe and propulsion technologies designed to help the commercial aircraft of tomorrow fly significantly quieter, cleaner, and more fuel-efficiently, with more passenger comfort, and to more of America's airports.
The teams were led by General Electric, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Company. Here are some images:
- A 20-passenger commercial aircraft design concept. Image credit: NASA/GE Aviation
- The "double bubble" D8 design concept. Image credit: NASA/MIT/Aurora Flight Sciences
- The Silent Efficient Low Emissions Commercial Transport, or SELECT, design concept. Image credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
- The Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research, or SUGAR, Volt design concept. Image credit: NASA/The Boeing Company
Read the full article at: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/future_airplanes.html