NASA and its partners plan to design, build and fly X-planes fueled by green energy, that use half the fuel and are only half as loud.
Credits: NASA / Lillian Gipson
NASA is looking for partners in its efforts to design X-planes to help demonstrate greener, quieter airliner technologies.
The agency has put out a request for proposals that would outline some of the system requirements for concepts that would support its Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Ultra-Efficient Subsonic Transport Thrust.
NASA seeks to further develop technology with U. S. industry and other government partners that will allow revolutionary transport aircraft to simultaneously reduce the fleet-level carbon footprint of aviation by at least 50 percent, and reduce perceived community noise levels by one half, while significantly reducing landing and takeoff emissions around airports.
The objective of the request for proposal is to help NASA to define the technical approach, schedule and cost for proceeding with potential X-plane procurements. The emphasis of the proposal should be on X-plane development plans, including scale, complexity, and readiness, as well as previous flight test and X-plane experiences and lessons learned.
NASA is investigating using X-plane flight demonstrators to mature new promising, as well as previously studied, technologies and configurations that would advance its ambitious environmental goals for future airliners.
Concepts should be human-piloted X-planes, capable of flying for three hours in at least two research fights a week over a year and able to fit into future national air transportation system operations. The first flight would be no later than 2021.
Proposals should include a comprehensive description and technology maturation plan, including ground and flight test requirements. Potential X-planes can be either integrated or purpose built. Integrated X-planes will be designed and flown to demonstrate the impact of a suite of integrated technologies at the aircraft system level. Purpose-built X-planes will be designed and flown to demonstrate the isolated impact of a specific multi-disciplinary technology.
NASA will use the data gathered from the contracts awarded under this solicitation to assist in the development of its X-plane requirements. Proposals are due by Aug. 18. Initial awards to qualified participants will be six months in duration.