So many potential designs
Better fuel efficiency: A greater than 70 percent reduction in fuel burn performance. That could have two salutary effects: a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a lower cost for air travel.
Less nitrous oxide: A greater than 75 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, per the CAEP/6 standard, which seeks to improve air quality around airports. Nitrous oxide is a key ingredient in smog.
Less noise: A 71-decibel reduction below current Federal Aviation Administration noise standards. That would make things more peaceful around airports.
Reduced congestion: "Optimal use" of runways at multiple airports in metropolitan areas, which would make for less crowded skies and ease delays.
NASA says that the concepts from the four teams were able to meet either the fuel burn or the noise goal, but not both, so it will be reassessing the overall goals to determine which need more time to get from the lab to operational use.
May 18, 2010 11:45 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA/Northrop Grumman
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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