Saturday, January 15, 2011

New aircraft designs for 2025.

Is it a bird? No, it's definitely a plane: NASA unveils extraordinary ideas for the aircraft of 2025

Last updated at 12:29 AM on 16th January 2011
They are the sort of striking images that wouldn't look out of place in a scene from a sci-fi movie.
However, one of these could soon be the face of modern aviation with the unveiling of a new generation of passenger aircraft.
NASA has revealed three concept designs for quiet, energy efficient aircraft that potentially could be ready for flight as soon as 2025.
The Boeing Company
Future flight? Boeing unveils its innovative design for a faster, bigger and cleaner aircraft
Three companies - Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Company - came up with the designs and, at the end of last year, all three won a contract from NASA to research, develop and test their concepts in 2011, meaning these futuristic ideas could have the potential to take flight.
The designs came about after NASA revealed it was aiming to develop a line of 'super planes' that are faster, larger, quieter - and burn fuel more efficiently and cleanly than their present counterparts.
Northrop Grumman
Cutting edge: The Northrop Grumman concept is twice as nice as current aircraft
Criteria set by NASA meant that each design had to fly up to 85 per cent of the speed of sound, cover a range of about 7,000 miles and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 of payload; either cargo or passengers.
Now, each of the three companies will spend the rest of this year exploring, testing and simulating their designs in the hope that NASA will choose it for development.
Lockheed Martin
Cleaner: All three designs - including this one from Lockheed Martin - were required to have green credentials
How likely it is for these designs to get off the ground is under debate. A spokesman from technology and innovation website Fast Company told the Huffington Post: 'Given how long it usually takes to craft an aircraft from scratch, and bearing in mind how many technical hitches the revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner has suffered, these are the sorts of aircraft that these three firms are probably beginning to design for real right about now.'

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