NASA Selects Industry Team to Advance Green Aviation Engine Technology

NASA ARMD often uses plane models like this one to test more efficient aviation technology. Image credit Pinterest

NASA ARMD often uses plane models like this one to test more efficient aviation technology. Image credit Pinterest

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) has chosen a Connecticut-based company to conduct an aircraft engine flight demonstration designed to showcase quieter, more fuel-efficient, reduced pollution generating engine technology.

United Technologies Corporation (UTC)/Pratt & Whitney in Hartford has been selected for NASA’s Ultra-High Bypass Advanced Nacelle Technologies Flight Demonstration – part of NASA Aeronautics’ research efforts to make commercial airliners more environmentally friendly.

The proposed three-year, cost-shared cooperative agreement between NASA and a Pratt & Whitney team, which includes the Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and UTC Aerospace Systems in San Diego, California, will invest in the design, fabrication, testing, integration, and flight demonstration of a suite of engine technologies that improve aerodynamic performance and reduce overall weight and noise. The challenge is to integrate those technologies into a single structure and apply them to a commercial transport high bypass ratio jet engine advanced nacelle system. NASA’s portion of the investment over the three years is about $22 million.

NASA and the industry team will develop, ground test and take to flight technologies integrated on an advanced compact engine inlet to reduce drag, weight, noise and fuel consumption. Technologies to be addressed include:

  • Both active and laminar flow for drag reduction
  • Advanced light-weight composite structures for weight reduction with laminar flow compatible outer mold lines
  • Acoustic liners extended into nacelle lip region for noise reduction
  • Advanced low power anti-ice/de-ice systems compatible with compact inlet and acoustic liners
  • Advanced coatings for abrasion and to reduce insect adhesion

The Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities Project under ARMD’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program sponsored the cooperative agreement solicitation. The effort will be managed by the Advanced Nacelle Subproject at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

For information about NASA’s Flight Demonstration Project, visit:

For more information about NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, visit:

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