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
OCT 31, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 31, 2019
Neutron Star Merger Fused Atomic Nuclei, Spilled Out Heavy Element
It is safe to say that we live in a world of hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements in the periodic table. Born minutes after the Big Bang, the two mak...
DEC 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 18, 2019
Physics in Peril? (Part II) - Lost in the "Darkness"
Not many share the same antagonistic view with Sabine Hossenfelder, the physicist who associates the current awkward state of physical science with theoret...
DEC 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 20, 2019
Physics Breakthroughs in 2019
The Physics World magazine is an iconic publication in the scientific community. This month, its editorial team selected the top 10 Breakthroughs for...
DEC 23, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 23, 2019
The Trouble With the InSight Mission's Burrowing Mole Explained
NASA’s InSight mission is designed to probe the red planet’s internal physical characteristics, including heat emanating from its core and Mars...
JAN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 26, 2020
Betelgeuse Continues to Dim, But Why?
A nearby red supergiant star by the name of Betelgeuse has long been popular among astronomers, not only because of its massive size and close proximity to...
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
NASA Officially Retires the Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA is always sending spacecraft into space to explore the universe around us; be it the close-proximity stellar neighborhood of our own solar system or o...
Loading Comments...