Saturday, November 27, 2010
They might be best known for space travel, but the folks at NASA are determined to shape the future of commercial aviation.
The agency says airliners need to be quieter, greener and more fuel-efficient.
To attain those goals, NASA handed out nearly $6 million in contracts this week to two defense industry giants: Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.
NASA’s goal is to develop technology that would enable future aircraft to burn 50% less fuel than current models, cut harmful emissions in half and shrink the geographic areas affected by obnoxious airport noise by 83%.
The agency hopes to develop concepts for airliners that could go into service by 2025.