Boeing Selects Vintage Airliner for Testing Breakthrough Transonic Truss Braced Wing Concept

Boeing Selects Vintage Airliner for Testing Breakthrough Transonic Truss Braced Wing Concept

In a visionary move, Boeing has set its sights on an iconic McDonnell-Douglas airliner as the designated platform for testing its revolutionary Transonic Truss Braced Wing technology. This innovation holds the promise of propelling the aviation industry towards a new era of sustainability by enhancing the performance of future passenger aircraft. Under a contract with NASA, Boeing is embarking on the creation of a Sustainable Flight Demonstrator, a crucial step in realizing the potential of this groundbreaking wing design.

Central to this endeavor is the utilization of an existing aircraft, an aged descendant of the renowned DC-9, which will serve as the initial testing platform for the Transonic Truss Braced Wing concept. This historic aircraft, dubbed the X-66A, will pave the way for the development of next-generation passenger planes with enhanced environmental efficiency.

The X-66A prototype is anticipated to take to the skies in 2028, marking a significant milestone in Boeing and NASA's joint efforts. However, preceding this milestone, the venerable aircraft has been ferried from Victorville to Boeing's facility in Palmdale, California, on August 17.

Ed Waggoner, Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, "We at NASA are excited to be working with Boeing on the X-66A Sustainable Flight Demonstrator, making critical contributions to accelerate aviation towards its 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emission goal."

At the heart of this innovation are the long, slender wings braced by expansive trusses that also function as lifting surfaces. Boeing and NASA envision a remarkable 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions through the integration of these innovative features. With the future of sustainable aviation hanging in the balance, this pioneering endeavor stands as a testament to the industry's commitment to shaping a greener and more efficient future in flight.
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