NASA Unveils Designs For Next Generation of Airplanes | Talking Points Memo

When you board a passenger plane in twenty years, what will it look like? Will it be a single, wide wing much like the current B-2 stealth bomber? Or could it look like a pontoon boat with wings? NASA last week gave the public a glimpse of the possibilities the future holds when it unveiled three radically different concept designs for the passenger plane of 2025 and beyond.The three designs — from Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin — are part of a set of contracts to study advanced concept designs for airplanes that will eventually replace the planes flown today. “Each design has to fly up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo” all while producing “less noise, cleaner exhaust and lower fuel consumption,” according to a NASA press article.

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