Boeing has revealed a design for a new type of plane, one that is far more fuel efficient than anything flying today and could one day be the future of air travel.
The work comes from a joint study with the NASA Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program. The studies purpose was to find new configurations for ultra-efficient airliners that could enter service in the 2035 time frame.
What does the new plane look like?
The new concept was presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech conference in San Diego.
Dubbed the, very wordy, Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) ultra-efficient airliner concept, the TTBW changes everything that we have come to expect when flying.
The 150 seater version of the TTBW has a 170-ft.-span low-drag wing and is designed to fly at Mach 0.8. Because of its wing engineering differences, it will burn up to 8% less fuel per flight. The iconic struts that you can see connecting the bottom of the wing to the plane mean the wing can be larger but lighter.
Plus, the fact that the aircraft can still run at the same speed as conventional jet aircraft means no disruption of service to passengers (something that is often criticized when looking at alternative methods of air travel).
Boeing said the jet ideally would reduce fuel burn by 60 per cent compared to an aircraft in 2005, but said it did not have final data to compare the fuel savings to present-day aircraft.
The design does not include any additional improvements to fuel efficiency with better materials or better engines. In fact, if the aircraft changed the engines to hybrid electrical powered there is no telling how fuel efficient it can be.
This will also mean that the range of future planes will cover the entire world.
The TTBW has been designed to be the next possible replacement of the famous 737, which will be nearing its 75th birthday by 2035.
What else has Boeing tried in the past?
Now, this is not the first time that Boeing or another airline manufacturer has tried to change the industry with a new concept.
In the past Boeing worked on an American Concorde (The Boeing 2072)
They also have been looking into Delta-wing aircraft. Essentially when the entire plane is the wing of the aircraft (like a boomerang).
Speaking on 797, Boeing still has that under construction and will reveal it at the Paris Airshow this year.
Whilst seeing this new concept is exciting, we will hold our breath as many a time a new concept never really gets off the ground.
Now, all we wait for is Airbus’s reply to this new age aircraft.