NASA's new design finally would bring jets out of the jet age

June 20, 2023
This transonic jet can reach just under 600 miles per hour.

WASHINGTON - NASA unveiled its latest X-plane Monday; a strange new design known as a transonic truss-winged aircraft that might just be coming to an airport near you in the next decade. The X-66A is the first commercial aircraft design created by NASA specifically to address efficiency. A one-off created under the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, this single-aisle plane takes its design cues from gliders, with the wings perched on top of the fuselage with struts holding the wings in place, Erin Marquis reports for JalopnikContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 June 2023 - The X-66A is the first X-plane specifically focused on helping the United States achieve the goal of net-zero aviation greenhouse gas emissions, which was articulated in the White House’s U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan.

NASA and Boeing sought the X-plane designation shortly after the agency announced the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project award earlier this year. The Air Force confers X-plane status for development programs that set out to create revolutionary experimental aircraft configurations. The designation is for research aircraft. With few exceptions, X-planes are intended to test designs and technologies that can be adopted into other aircraft designs, not serve as prototypes for full production.

For the X-66A, the Air Force provided the designation for an aircraft that validates technologies for a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing configuration that, when combined with other advancements in propulsion systems, materials, and systems architecture, could result in up to 30% less fuel consumption and reduced emissions when compared with today’s best-in-class aircraft.

Related: NASA's X-59 aims to open the skies for new supersonic airliners

Related: Lockheed's Skunk Works installs GE engine on NASA's X-59 supersonic aircraft

Related: NASA prepares to break the sound barrier with Lockheed Martin's X-59

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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