By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 9, 2010
Fayette Collier, NASA Aeronautics Mission Directorate’s (ARMD) Subsonic Fixed Wing
project manager, says that the hybrid wing body airframe design appears to offer
the noise shielding called for in NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation, or ERA,
project to enable future noise reduction.
Caution: radical aircraft ideas under construction!
Rich Wahls, planning team lead for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission
Directorate and project scientist for the directorate's Subsonic Fixed Wing project,
said that next generation (NextGen) aircraft would require a range of technologies
and leveraging. I call it the “holistic airplane.” He spoke of 10-15 percent structural
weight reduction using electron beam free-form fabrication (say that 3-times fast!)
and carbon nanotubes made from nanotube yarn and sheets already manufactured
in the lab.
Dale Van Zandt of NASA’s Glenn Research Center talked about open rotor engine
developments. Open rotors, looking like jet engines with the cowlings off exposing
their fan blades, are very efficient engines. Testing at NASA Glenn is progressing.