ARLINGTON, TEXAS — NASA has chosen Boeing and its partners to lead the development and flight testing of a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) demonstrator aircraft.

The SFD (Sustainable Flight Demonstrator) program will showcase new technologies that could potentially result in significant advancements in aerodynamics and fuel efficiency and shape the future of aircraft design.

The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) design has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30% when combined with advancements in propulsion systems, materials, and systems architecture, compared to current single-aisle airplane designs. The SFD (Sustainable Flight Demonstrator) program is part of the effort to meet the civil aviation industry's goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and aligns with the White House's U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan.

"The SFD program has the potential to make a major contribution toward a sustainable future," said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and executive vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology.

"It represents an opportunity to design, build and fly a full-scale experimental plane while solving novel technical problems."

The use of ultrathin wings reinforced by struts with larger spans and high-aspect ratios could enable the incorporation of advanced propulsion systems that are currently constrained by limited underwing space in conventional low-wing airplane designs. For the demonstrator aircraft, Boeing will utilize components from existing vehicles and combine them with new elements.

The SFD (Sustainable Flight Demonstrator) program will receive a total of $425 million in funding from NASA through a Space Act Agreement. In addition, Boeing and its industry partners will provide up to $725 million in funding to support the development of the demonstrator aircraft. Furthermore, Boeing has invested an additional $110 million in previous phases of sustainable aviation research.

The TTBW (Transonic Truss-Braced Wing) airframe concept has been developed over a period of more than ten years, with funding and support from NASA, Boeing, and other industry partners. Under previous NASA programs, such as the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research, Boeing carried out extensive wind tunnel testing and digital modeling to improve the TTBW design. The initial conceptual studies were conducted as part of NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation program.