A new project from NASA and aircraft manufacturing company Boeing could have a big impact on commercial air flight. Both organizations are working on a thinner, longer wing aimed at reducing the weight of an aircraft.
Engineers are using aerodynamic computer models to test this prototype, according to a NASA blog post. A key component of the wing is a brace (also known as a truss).
The researchers are using these schematics to see how air flows around the wing allowing improvements if they notice any areas that would raise the difficulty of getting a plane off the ground followed by a wind-tunnel experiment to see how it would perform in flight.
Popular Science added that a brace can add more drag to an aircraft upon liftoff if not designed effectively, which is why the scientists will analyze these test results and make adjustments where needed.
However, early projections indicate this wing will, “reduce both fuel burn and carbon emissions by at least 50 percent over current technology transport aircraft, and by 4 to 8 percent compared to equivalent advanced technology conventional configurations with unbraced wings, “explained NASA.
This invention is part of NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology project, but no deadline has been set for a completed model.
NASA is working on other next-gen aircraft projects as well. The agency awarded a grant to Lockheed Martin last month to build a silent, supersonic jet.
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