The next step in NASA’s effort to design the aircraft of 2030 is a second phase of studies to begin developing the new technologies that will be necessary to meet the national goals related to an improved air transportation system with increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The agency received proposals from the four teams in late April and expects to award one or two research contracts for work starting in 2011.
* 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.
* You may see ultramodern shape memory alloys, ceramic or fiber composites, carbon nanotube or fiber optic cabling, self-healing skin, hybrid electric engines, folding wings, double fuselages and virtual reality windows.
* Boeing also proposed an optimal cruise speed of Mach 0.6 (slow) if liquid fuel is expensive, or up to Mach 0.8 if it is cheap.
GE 20 Passenger Commuter Plane
GE had a 193 page report