NASA has awarded Boeing a $5.29m research contract to investigate concepts for airliners that could enter service in 2025.
The so-called N+2 technologies – two generations more advanced than what is on aircraft in service today – require future aircraft to fly with less noise, cleaner exhaust and lower fuel consumption.
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 modernised air-traffic-management system.
The research contracts will identify innovations that will provide the necessary technologies to industry for development and flight demonstrations to support entry into service in the 2025 time frame.
According to NASA, the Boeing team will define a preferred system concept for an aircraft that can achieve speeds up to 85 per cent 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.