The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants to get the commercial airline industry to think more about what the next generation of greener airliners might look like. To that end, the government agency put out a call this week for research proposals for green aircraft concepts, with the total potential value of the research contracts to be awarded set at around $36.6 million.
NASA’s Integrated Systems Research Program is taking point on this project, called the Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project. Proposals for the concepts, which are due by July 15, “must incorporate technologies enabling large, twin-aisle passenger aircraft to achieve ambitious environmental goals. Goals include 50 percent less fuel consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions compared with today’s airliners and an approximately 80 percent reduction in the nuisance noise footprint around airports.”
NASA said it will choose up to four teams for 12-month studies beginning next year. After nine months of fine tuning and further proposals, one or two concepts will be chosen “for 17 months of preliminary design work and risk reduction testing for completion by mid-2013.” These chosen concepts, in the form of subscale flight demonstrator designs, will be test flown by NASA sometime in 2015. All of this is for “advanced vehicles that can operate within the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen. The system is a U.S. government air traffic modernization effort that includes NASA.”
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