A Boeing-led team has been awarded a $5.3 million, one-year research contract from NASA for the study of an airliner that can fly with less noise, cleaner exhaust and lower fuel consumption.
The contract is designed for airliners that could enter service in 2025. The Boeing team will define a preferred system concept for an aircraft that can achieve speeds up to 85 percent of the speed of sound, cover a range of nearly 7,000 miles and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo. The project is working to develop technology that would enable future aircraft to burn 50 percent less fuel than today's most efficient models, with 50 percent fewer harmful emissions; and to shrink the size of geographic areas affected by objectionable airport noise by 83 percent.
In addition, a key objective of the research is to ensure the technological elements proposed for meeting NASA's noise, emissions and fuel burn reduction goals can be integrated on a single aircraft that could operate safely within a modernized air traffic management system.
NASA previously awarded two contracts -- to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- as a part of this same research effort.