NASA and Boeing drive next generation of sustainable aircraft with the X-66A project

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NASA and Boeing obtain the x-66A designation for a joint sustainable flight project, which aims to develop a new generation of cleaner and more sustainable passenger aircraft.

NASA and Boeing have received the X-66A experimental aircraft designation for their joint sustainable flight project, which seeks to develop a new generation of cleaner and more efficient narrow-body airliners. The goal is to address the need for more sustainable aircraft that can be used by airlines around the world. In collaboration with NASA, Boeing will build, test and fly a large-scale demonstration aircraft, known as the "Transonic Truss-Braced Wing" concept, which represents extra-long, thin wings stabilised by diagonal struts.


The X-66A is the first X-aircraft specifically focused on helping the United States achieve its policy goal of zero aviation greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The aircraft designation was requested by NASA and Boeing shortly after the agency announced the Sustainable Flight Demonstration project award earlier this year. 

The X-plane designation is awarded by the US Air Force to development programmes that seek to create revolutionary experimental aircraft configurations. These aircraft are primarily used to test designs and technologies that can then be applied to other aircraft models, rather than serving as prototypes for full production.

Todd Citron, Boeing's chief technology officer, expressed pride in the X-66A designation, as it represents an opportunity to validate innovative designs that have transformed aviation. Through the learnings gained in the design, construction and flight testing of this aircraft, it is expected to shape the future of flight and contribute to the decarbonisation of the aerospace industry.

The X-66A has received Air Force designation due to its validation of technologies for a Transonic armour-stiffened wing configuration. Combined with advances in propulsion systems, materials and systems architecture, this configuration is expected to achieve up to a 30% reduction in fuel burn and emissions compared to currently available aircraft in its class.

Given that narrow-body aircraft account for nearly half of global aviation emissions due to their widespread use, the development of more sustainable designs and technologies for this type of aircraft has the potential to have a significant impact on the emissions generated by the industry.



El avión limpio de la NASA y Boeing obtiene marchamo experimental | Europress, Retrieved June 13th, 2023 from:

Next generation Experimental Aircraft Becomes NASA’s Newest X-Plane | NASA, Retrieved June 12th, 2023 from:

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