Latest in Airplane

Image credit:

NASA and Boeing to test eco-friendly technologies for airplanes

85 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Boeing's new ecoDemonstrator (a 757) is slated to go on a series of flights this spring to try out two of NASA's experimental fuel-saving techniques. One of them's the Active Flow Control Enhanced Vertical Tail Flight Experiment, which entails installing 31 tiny jets on a plane's vertical tail or dorsal fin, as you can see below the fold. These jets can manipulate the flow of air over the tail's surface and generate enough force to stabilize the plane during takeoff and landing, even if the fin's around 17 percent smaller than usual. A smaller tail means a lighter plane and, hence, lower fuel consumption.

A few weeks after putting the teensy jets through the wringer, ecoDemonstrator will do another series of flights to test five different insect-repellent plane coatings. Apparently, even something as small as bugs can disturb the flow of air around the plane's wings and cause drag. Planes can reduce fuel consumption by around six percent if that air flow remains smooth. That sounds like such a small number, but it could still save airlines millions of dollars on fuel and lead to lower emissions.

NASA already ensured that these two technologies work in a laboratory setting. But they still need to go through field testing to see if they can survive the harsh environments airplanes typically face. They're only two of the eight projects being developed under the agency's Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) initiative, though, so expect more test flights to take to the skies after spring.

[Image credit: Boeing / John D. Parker]

Source: NASA
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
85 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
AMD delays 16-core Ryzen 9 CPU to November

AMD delays 16-core Ryzen 9 CPU to November

View
Erica's modular synth helps you make music with preset cards

Erica's modular synth helps you make music with preset cards

View
TiVo gave its unannounced Edge DVR to a customer

TiVo gave its unannounced Edge DVR to a customer

View
Facebook will shut down Group Stories on September 26th

Facebook will shut down Group Stories on September 26th

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr