Boeing-Led Team to Build Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Under NASA Contract

An industry team led by Boeing (NYSE: BA) has received a contract from NASA to develop and test a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft as part of the space agency’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project.

NASA will invest $425 million in the development of the TTBW demonstrator over a seven-year period, while Boeing and its industry partners will provide up to $725 million in funding to support the effort as part of the SFD Space Act Agreement, Boeing said Wednesday.

Under the contract, the Boeing-led team will work with NASA to build a single-aisle aircraft with a TTBW configuration as part of efforts to reduce energy usage and emissions by up to 30 percent. 

The SFD program seeks to enable the civil aviation industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and meet the goals outlined in the White House’s Aviation Climate Action Plan. 

NASA aims to conclude testing by the late 2020s and expects technologies demonstrated through the project to help inform future industry decisions about new single-aisle planes that could be available by the 2030s.

Under the contract, the industry team will introduce its proposed technical plan and NASA will provide the team access to its aeronautics facilities while securing access to ground and flight data for use in validating the airframe and related technologies.

“The SFD program has the potential to make a major contribution toward a sustainable future,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and executive vice president of engineering, test and technology.

“It represents an opportunity to design, build and fly a full-scale experimental plane, while solving novel technical problems,” Hyslop added.

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