NASA And Boeing Team Up On Greener Tech You Don’t Need To Be An Astronaut To Enjoy – SlashGear
The most obvious change to the aircraft is the design of the wings, which are called Transonic Truss-Braced Wings (TTBW). First unveiled by Boeing in 2019, the TTBW design features wings that sit much higher on the plane than today’s commercial jetliners. If you’ve recently flown on, say, a Boeing 737, you may recall that in the event of an emergency, there are exits over the wings of the aircraft. But on a TTBW plane, the wings are joined to the top of the fuselage, well above the windows and exit doors.
The wingspans of these planes will be much greater than today’s single-aisle airliners—closer to 170 feet than the 737’s 117-foot wingspan (via Boeing). While they’re much longer, these wings are also much lighter, and therefore have to be supported by trusses, which lends the TTBW its name. Boeing has been studying this concept for about 10 years already in an effort to reduce both emissions and noise while also improving performance.
In addition to the innovative wing design, NASA and Boeing also intend to innovate other systems including propulsion, materials, and systems architecture, Boeing said in their own press release. Right now, NASA intends to finish testing for this project later this decade, which means you could be casually boarding a TTBW plane in the 2030s. Of course, NASA isn’t always known to stay on schedule. Even so, cleaning up the skies is a worthy goal, and, for everyone here on the ground, a welcome breath of fresh air.
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