NASA announced Wednesday it has issued an award to The Boeing Company for the agency’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, which seeks to inform a potential new generation of green single-aisle airliners.
Under a Funded Space Act Agreement, Boeing will work with NASA to build, test, and fly a full-scale demonstrator aircraft and validate technologies aimed at lowering emissions.
Over seven years, NASA will invest $425 million, while the company and its partners will contribute the remainder of the agreement funding, estimated at about $725 million. As part of the agreement, the agency also will contribute technical expertise and facilities.
“Since the beginning, NASA has been with you when you fly. NASA has dared to go farther, faster, higher. And in doing so, NASA has made aviation more sustainable and dependable. It is in our DNA,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “It’s our goal that NASA’s partnership with Boeing to produce and test a full-scale demonstrator will help lead to future commercial airliners that are more fuel efficient, with benefits to the environment, the commercial aviation industry, and to passengers worldwide. If we are successful, we may see these technologies in planes that the public takes to the skies in the 2030s.”
Single-aisle aircraft are the workhorse of many airline fleets, and due to their heavy usage, account for nearly half of worldwide aviation emissions. NASA plans to complete testing for the project by the late 2020s, so that technologies and designs demonstrated by the project can inform industry decisions about the next generation of single-aisle aircraft that could enter into service in the 2030s.
Through the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, Boeing and its industry team will partner with NASA to develop and flight-test a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing demonstrator aircraft.
The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept involves an aircraft with extra-long, thin wings stabilized by diagonal struts. This design results in an aircraft that is much more fuel efficient than a traditional airliner due to a shape that would create less drag – resulting in its burning less fuel.
“NASA is working toward an ambitious goal of developing game-changing technologies to reduce aviation energy use and emissions over the coming decades toward an aviation community goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Bob Pearce, NASA associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing is the kind of transformative concept and investment we will need to meet those challenges and, critically, the technologies demonstrated in this project have a clear and viable path to informing the next generation of single-aisle aircraft, benefiting everyone that uses the air transportation system.”
NASA’s goal is that the technology flown on the demonstrator aircraft, when combined with other advancements in propulsion systems, materials, and systems architecture, would result in fuel consumption and emissions reductions of up to 30% relative to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft, depending on the mission.
Through separate efforts, NASA has worked with Boeing and other industry partners on advanced sustainable aviation concepts, including the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept.
“We’re honored to continue our partnership with NASA and to demonstrate technology that significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency resulting in substantially lower fuel burn and emissions,” said Todd Citron, Boeing chief technology officer. “Boeing has been advancing a multipronged sustainability strategy, including fleet renewal, operational efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced technologies to support the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan and meet the industry objective of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator builds on more than a decade of NASA, Boeing, and our industry partners’ investments to help achieve these objectives.”
The new Funded Space Act agreement allows NASA to capitalize on private industry knowledge and experience, with Boeing and its partners laying out a proposed technical plan. NASA will provide access to its aeronautics facilities and expertise. NASA will not procure an aircraft or any other hardware for its missions. The agency will obtain access to certain ground and flight data that can be used to validate the airframe configuration and associated technologies.
The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator will help the United States achieve net-zero carbon emissions from aviation by 2050 – one of the environmental goals articulated in the White House’s U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan. The International Civil Aviation Organization also has set a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The project is an activity under NASA’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program and a key element of the Sustainable Flight National Partnership, which focuses on developing new sustainable aviation technologies.
Learn more about NASA’s Sustainable Aviation efforts at:
Boom Partners with Latecoere for Supersonic Aircraft EWIS Architecture
Boom teams up with Latecoere to redefine EWIS architecture for supersonic aircraft, bringing together expertise for optimal safety and reliability.
Boom, the innovative aerospace company, has announced its collaboration with global aerospace leader Latecoere as part of its expanding network of suppliers. Latecoere’s engineering team in Toulouse, France, will work in conjunction with Boom engineers to define the complete electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) architecture for both Overture and Symphony aircraft.
Latecoere’s expertise in developing and manufacturing certifiable EWIS and advanced aircraft technologies makes them a valuable addition to Boom’s lineup of suppliers for Overture. The EWIS for these aircraft will consist of an extensive 103 kilometers (64 miles) of wiring, encompassing over 45,000 electrical connections. This comprehensive system ensures optimal safety and reliability for Overture and Symphony.
Latecoere brings years of experience in complex aircraft development processes and methods, making them an ideal partner for Boom. The company’s industry-leading harness architecture definition software stack will be leveraged to support Boom’s ambitious goals in sustainable supersonic air travel.
By collaborating with top-tier suppliers like Latecoere, Boom is demonstrating its commitment to assembling a world-class team to make supersonic air travel a reality. Latecoere’s CEO, Greg Huttner, expressed pride in supporting Boom’s vision and continuing to contribute to the development of next-generation flight. This partnership is a significant step forward in the advancement of supersonic aviation technology.
Sierra Space Layoffs: Impact on Dream Chaser Spacecraft and Future Plans
Sierra Space lays off employees and contractors after completing Dream Chaser spacecraft. Uncertainty looms for the company’s future.
In a surprising turn of events, Sierra Space, the Colorado-based aerospace company, has announced layoffs affecting a significant number of employees and contractors. The company, known for its construction of the innovative Dream Chaser spacecraft, recently completed its first spacecraft and is preparing for its maiden launch.
Sierra Space, which previously employed around 2,200 individuals across the country, has informed approximately 165 employees and an undisclosed number of contract workers that their positions will be terminated. The news of these job cuts was initially reported by CNBC and has since been confirmed by a company spokesperson.
This announcement brings a sense of uncertainty for those impacted by the layoffs, as well as the broader aerospace community. While Sierra Space has taken a significant step forward in its space exploration endeavors with the completion of the Dream Chaser spacecraft, it appears that the company is undergoing internal restructuring.
As the Dream Chaser spacecraft heads to a NASA testing facility in preparation for its upcoming launch, scheduled for April, the future of Sierra Space remains uncertain. The aerospace industry will be watching closely to see how this setback impacts the company’s trajectory and its ability to continue pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
Take a look at the story on CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/16/sierra-space-layoffs.html
Boom Supersonic Announces New Aircraft, Engine, and Investment Milestones
New strategic investment from NEOM comes as XB-1, Symphony™ and Overture achieve important program milestones
DENVER /PRNewswire/ — Boom Supersonic, the company building the world’s fastest airliner, announced today multiple milestones across the Overture airliner, Symphony engine, and XB-1 supersonic demonstrator programs. The company also confirmed closing of an investment round, including a strategic investment from the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF). Boom’s total funding to date now exceeds $700 million.
“Our goal is to bring the world closer together through faster flights,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “We’re excited to collaborate with partners and investors around the globe as we work to realize our shared vision.”
Announced on October 24, the NEOM Investment Fund is the strategic investment arm of NEOM, the sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia. As part of the agreement, Boom and NIF will collaborate on opportunities to make the Gulf region dramatically more accessible, through the power of supersonic flight. The NIF investment now takes Boom’s total funding from investment and other capital sources to more than $700 million.
XB-1 readying for first flight this year
Boom achieved key milestones toward XB-1’s historic first flight, which remains on track for later this year at the Mojave Air & Space Port. After the receipt of its airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), XB-1 has recently completed successfully a number of integrated tests, including ground vibration mode testing, fuel system integrated testing, engine operability testing, and medium-speed taxi testing up to 90 knots. Following its Flight Readiness Review (FRR) last week, XB-1 will conduct high-speed taxi testing in final preparation for its first flight.
Symphony propulsion system hits development milestone
Boom also announced that Symphony, the Boom-developed propulsion system purpose-built for sustainable and economical supersonic flight, has successfully conducted its key 2023 engineering milestone, known as the Conceptual Design Review (CoDR). This important achievement paves the way toward Symphony’s first hardware rig tests planned for 2024.
Overture Superfactory construction ahead of schedule
In late September, Boom commemorated the “topping out” of the Overture Superfactory at the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, signifying the completion of the building’s frame. Over the past six weeks, the company has finished the decking on the top of the structure, poured the concrete flooring, and installed the metal side wall panels. The work to complete the Overture Superfactory is now ahead of its original schedule with completion anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.
For more information about Overture, please visit: https://boomsupersonic.com/overture
For more information about XB-1, please visit: https://boomsupersonic.com/xb-1
About Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic is transforming air travel with Overture, the world’s fastest airliner, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability. Overture will fly at twice the speed of today’s airliners and is optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Overture’s order book stands at 130 aircraft, including orders and pre-orders from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines. Boom is working with Northrop Grumman for government and defense applications of Overture. Suppliers and partners collaborating with Boom on the Overture program include Aernnova, Leonardo, Aciturri, Safran Landing Systems, Eaton, Collins Aerospace, and the United States Air Force.
Symphony™ is the propulsion system that will power Overture, a Boom-developed engine with world-class suppliers including Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT), a business unit of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., GE Additive, and StandardAero. For more information, visit https://boomsupersonic.com
NEOM Investment Fund
NEOM Investment Fund is the strategic investment arm of NEOM, designed to activate, advance, and accelerate the global transformational changes critical to a sustainable future. NIF will support the buildout and development of NEOM and deliver mutual, long-term value across sector projects with large multinationals, innovators, and the wider institutional investment community that are participating in the building of NEOM and the implementation of its vision for the future. Its core activities include executing investments alongside NEOM’s sectors and subsidiary companies in pioneering growth companies and next-generation industries, and on fundraising at the project level that would ultimately lead to strategic management of NEOM’s diverse portfolio of commercial assets. As a catalyst for change, NIF actively seeks out and advocates for setting up large anchor businesses in NEOM, along with “moonshot” tech investments that are required to deliver sustainable long-term prosperity at a time when the world faces challenges of unprecedented scale and complexity.
For more information about NEOM Investment Fund, visit https://www.neom.com/en-us/invest/neom-investment-fund or visit http://www.neom.com and http://www.neom.com/en-us/newsroom.
SOURCE Boom Supersonic
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