FEB 26, 2016 10:31 AM PST

NASA Proposes Reviving Old Plans for Futuristic X-Planes

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA has wanted to design some higher-tech airplanes for commercial use for years, although budget constraints have limited the space agency’s ability to do so. Fortunately, the Obama administration has been very generous to NASA and is significantly improving the agency’s budget so more can be accomplished in less time.
 
Although moving astronauts onto Mars is certainly on NASA’s to-do list, NASA also appears to be interested in bringing back its X-Plane concept, in which NASA will work on developing futuristic commercial airplanes that are faster, more fuel efficient, and quieter.
 

Several of NASA's X-Plane concepts.


"We're at the right place, at the right time, with the right technologies," said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
 
“The full potential of these technologies can’t be realized in the tube-and-wing shape of today’s aircraft. We need the X-planes to prove, in an undeniable way, how that tech can make aviation more Earth friendly, reduce delays and maintain safety for the flying public, and support an industry that’s critical to our nation’s economic vitality."
 
NASA notes that the budget plan will begin in October of this year and would span across a 10-year period for making aircrafts significantly more environmentally-friendly.
 
In terms of making the airplanes quieter, it will be good for not only the passengers on board, but also all the people who look up into the skies to find out where that ultra loud jet engine sound is coming from. NASA will work on making jet fans significantly quieter, as well as drag flaps. The bodies of the airplanes would also be completely revolutionized, taking on a hybrid wing body configuration with engines at the top of the craft.
 
Moreover, special coatings for the airplanes will keep bugs and residue from building up on the surfaces of aircrafts, which combined with fuel savings, could add up to $255 million over the course of the next 25 years.
 
“This is an exciting time for the entire NASA Aeronautics team and for those who benefit from aviation, which, frankly, is everyone,” Shin said. “With this 10-year plan to accelerate the transformation of aviation, the United States can maintain its status as the world’s leader in aviation for many years to come.”
 
With the additional budget NASA has been given, it should be very interesting to see where airplanes of the future are headed.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Spiders Build Webs in Space
DEC 15, 2020
Spiders Build Webs in Space
As humans have ventured into space, they have carried some terrestrial life with them, including spiders. Once dreamed u ...
JAN 13, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Identify Another Crucial Aspect for Planets to Support Life
JAN 13, 2021
Astronomers Identify Another Crucial Aspect for Planets to Support Life
For some time now, we have known of the 'Goldilocks zone'- a distance from the sun that leads to planets neither ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
APR 21, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
New Pulsar Detected in Southern Hemisphere
APR 21, 2021
New Pulsar Detected in Southern Hemisphere
A new pulsar has been discovered with images from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope, a low-frequency radio t ...
MAY 04, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Part of a Chinese Rocket is Expected to Fall to Earth Soon
MAY 04, 2021
Part of a Chinese Rocket is Expected to Fall to Earth Soon
In the next few days, part of a rocket that put China's new space station into orbit will fall back to Earth in an uncon ...
JUN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
JUN 08, 2021
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
When magnetized plasma is released from the surface of the sun in a phenomenon known as coronal mass ejections, they can ...
Loading Comments...