NASA and Boeing aim for net-zero aviation emissions with X-66A.

Key Points:

  • Boeing advances in its experimental plane development, collaborating with NASA's Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project.

  • MD-90 is poised for modifications to test the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration in aid of the X-66A aircraft's evolution.

  • The TTBW design, combined with other tech innovations, is forecasted by Boeing to potentially yield up to 30% reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Boeing announced a significant step forward last week in the ongoing development of its experimental aircraft, associated with NASA's Sustainable Flight Demonstrator initiative. The MD-90 airplane, central to this initiative, has been transported to a specialized Boeing facility. Here, the plane will undergo transformative modifications tailored for the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration tests, all of which are fundamental to the advancement of the X-66A aircraft.

NASA's vision behind the X-66A is bold and forward-thinking, aspiring to steer the U.S. aviation industry towards the commendable objective of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Boeing’s projections, based on the potential of the TTBW design combined with other technical innovations, are promising, suggesting possible reductions in fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 30%.

Expressing the collaborative spirit and shared goal of the endeavor, Ed Waggoner, who serves as the deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, stated, “Our collaboration with Boeing on the X-66A Sustainable Flight Demonstrator is pivotal. It underscores our joint commitment and endeavors towards realizing the aviation industry's 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emission aspirations.”

This green aviation initiative will soon enter a more tangible phase with ground and aerial tests for the aircraft slated to kick off in 2028.