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NASA selects Boeing for advanced aircraft vehicle concepts

NASA has awarded a third contract for studies designed to identify advanced concepts for airliners that could enter service in 2025, fly with less noise, cleaner exhaust and lower fuel consumption. NASA refers to technology that is two generations more advanced than what is on aircraft in service today as N+2.

A team led by The Boeing Company of Huntington Beach, Calif., was selected for a contract worth $5.29 million. The contract has a performance period of one year beginning this month.

As part of the same research effort, NASA previously awarded contracts worth $2.99 million and $2.65 million to teams led by Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, Calif., and Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, Calif.

A key objective of the N+2 research is to ensure the technological elements proposed for meeting NASA's noise, emissions and fuel burn reduction goals can be integrated on a single aircraft that could operate safely within a modernized air traffic management system.

The research contracts will identify innovations that will provide the necessary technologies to industry for development and flight demonstrations to support entry into service in the 2025 time frame.

The Boeing team will define a preferred system concept for an aircraft that can achieve speeds up to 85 percent of the speed of sound, cover a range of nearly 7,000 miles and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo.

NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project sponsors the studies. The project is part of the Integrated Systems Research Program managed by the agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington.

The project is working to develop technology that would enable future aircraft to burn 50 percent less fuel than today's most efficient models, with 50 percent fewer harmful emissions; and to shrink the size of geographic areas affected by objectionable airport noise by 83 percent.

Press release issued by NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center on December 9, 2010


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