AeroAstro Annual 7
Annual Report 2009-2010
Subsonic Civil Transport Aircraft for 2035 1 In 2008, NASA awarded four research contracts to define advanced concepts and enabling technologies for subsonic aircraft, in the 2035 timeframe, that could address the challenges posed by this increased demand. The research was part of the NASA N+3 program, where N+3 refers to aircraft three generations beyond those currently flying. The awards were to teams led by Boeing, Northrop Grumman, GE, and MIT. The MIT team, the only one led by a university, included Aurora Flight Sciences and Pratt & Whitney as partners. The collaboration among these three organizations resulted in the development of innovative conceptual designs, with the potential for step changes in capabilities, for future subsonic commercial transports. PROJECT TARGETS: NOISE, EMISSIONS, FUEL, RUNWAY LENGTH NASA set four targets as metrics for the design concepts: aircraft noise, engine emissions (as expressed in terms of nitrogen oxides produced during landing and takeoff), fuel burn, and runway length. The targets were aggressive; for example, a reduction of 70 percent in fuel burn for a reference aircraft and a noise goal comparable with that of the MIT-Cambridge University Silent Aircraft Initiative of several years ago, namely aircraft noise imperceptible SUBSONIC CIVIL TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT FOR 2035 By Elena de la Rosa Blanco and Edward M. Greitzer Aviation is a critical aspect of modern society, moving people and goods throughout the world and fostering economic growth. From 1981 to 2006, the demand for air transportation in North America grew by a factor of three; while forecasts for the next 25 years vary, they present a strong message that this trend will continue.