NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

Summary: NASA is attempting to fill the skies with quieter, faster, more fuel efficient, and carbonless aircraft.


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  • What are the two of the most glaring problems in modern aircraft? Noise and carbon emissions. NASA’s Aeronautics division is working on airplanes of the future that can solve those problems and many more. Check out Rachel's King's blog from the TED+NASA event Wednesday.

    This Boeing concept has a blended wing body and could be ready for production in 2020.

    Credit: Boeing

  • From a 2010 event came this design from NASA and GE Aviation for a business-type, 20-passenger jet that would be lighter and more aerodynamic than the airplanes of today. Plus, it was designed to be quieter and more fuel efficient. 

    The plane flies on "ultra-quiet turboprop engines, virtual reality windows and is designed to fly at Mach 0.55 for 800 nautical miles," according to NASA.

    Image credit: NASA/GE Aviation

Topics: Travel Tech, Nasa / Space

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  • Sigh. I am REALLY looking forward to the day

    when we can put this carbon emissions propaganda crap back into the sinkhole it came from and realize once again that carbon dioxide is an ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT FOR PLANT LIFE
    • Too much of anything can be bad for one

      and CO2 is no exception. The "Carbon emissions is propaganda" is as much propaganda as the global warming hype itself.

      The science is: it's real, it exists, and it's more nuanced and less clear cut than the hype-mongers of either side will admit.

      This aside from the fact that lower carbon emissions also means lower fuel consumption, with all the cost-savings that implies.
      D. W. Bierbaum
      • Climate changes

        @D. W. Bierbaum
        Climates change. If they didn't we would be in major trouble. The impact of human activity is still open for discussion as the so called science has more than a hint of politics to it. The real target should be efficiency, irrespective of climate change or not. Improved use of resources is good for business, good for the economy, good for the environment and good for the population in general. Get off the Chicken Little soap box as the sky isn't falling and the planet has been through much more severe changes in its climate mthan we are seeing at the moment.
      • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

        @D. W. Bierbaum
        I love it when people deny scientific evidence because it contradict personal believes and agendas.

        The world wide scientific community has concluded climate change is real. This is not conclusive but is about as close as it gets.
      • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

        @D. W. Bierbaum
        Absolutely correct!
        It has been said (by the responsible scientific community, not Al Gore) that if you represented carbon emissions as the Empire State Building, all the carbon emmissions produced by man since the industrial revolution began would be represented by the linolium on the first floor.
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

      @baggins_z It certainly is, and when coupled with rapidly REDUCING the amount of plant life on the planet through deforestation and oceanic polution, we can REALLY ramp up on the CO2 balance and make Canada much more liveable. Keep it up, climate deniers - my work is almost done. Mwahahahaha.
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

      @baggins_z Tea Party troll, Tea Party troll.
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

      @baggins_z I agree, I find it amazing how stupid we have all been. Its fascinating how eager people are to conform to group think and buy into any gloom and doom fairy tale, big government, and the corporations cook up to get us to behave, think, and do, the way they want.

      Imagine the leaps in technology we could be making if we were not wasting so much time and money on "green" research.

      Corporations use green think as an excuse to give us less, for more money. While government uses it as an excuse to control our lives. And most of us like good little tools fall right in line with the herd.
      Spoiled Pork
  • Revelation

    Wow! What a revelation that CO2 is an essential nutrient for plant life. I bet those dumb climate scientists would never have even considered that in their exhaustive studies.
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)


      Sir or Madam,

      Before attempting derision, check your science.

  • Nice plane

    I suppose a comment like "nice plane" would interrupt this enlightening discussion.
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

      @wls HUZZAH!! Exactly what I was thinking
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

      @wls Nice plane! :) Except for that bulbous turboprop, which looks kind of creepy. ;)
      D. W. Bierbaum
  • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

    Only one that stands more than a cat in hell's chance of being built is SELECT, on the grounds it is not a major departure from what is already around. Shame, as there are some really lovely looking aircraft on offer.
  • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

    The MIT offering that uses thrust vectoring and internal engines seems like it has some nice solutions for the problems mentioned.
  • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

    Is it me or is there something missing in this pic?
    Hint........take a look at the engines :-)
    • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)


      Propellers? :-)
  • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

    N.A.S.A. may be designing some fuel-efficient and low carbon designs, but to quote a line from "The Right Stuff", "NO BUCKS - NO BUCK RODGERS!" If the airlines CANNOT make a profit from these aircraft, they're NOT going to buy them! (I just hope the designers considered leg room, I'm 6' 4" tall)
  • Back to the future

    The designs are fundamentally evolutions of existing designs. Take a look at the work done by the Horten brothers back in the 1930's & 40's. That is where opportunities for the future of efficiency can be found.
  • RE: NASA's aircraft of the future (images)

    Erm...forgive me but image number 2....isn't that made by Fisher Price Toys? I had one as a toddler. I remember it well. it's propulsion system was a piece of nylon cord that I "pulled" to move the plane along the ground. It didn't fly very well either. Even when "thrown" it just kind of "crashed" and "broke".