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NASA Transportation Science

NASA Green-lights $16.5M To Advance Future Jets 107

coondoggie writes "NASA said this week four research teams would split $16.5 million to continue developing quieter, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient jets that the agency says will be three generations ahead of airliners in use today. NASA said the money was awarded after an 18-month study of all manner of advanced technologies from alloys, ceramic or fiber composites, carbon nanotube and fiber optic cabling to self-healing skin, hybrid electric engines, folding wings, double fuselages and virtual reality windows to come up with a series of aircraft designs that could end up taking you on a business trip by about 2030."
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NASA Green-lights $16.5M To Advance Future Jets

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  • by scrib ( 1277042 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @02:00PM (#35735734)

    Three generation better than ones "currently in use today." The ones they commonly use today are a couple generations old. Southwest Flight 812, which recently lost a bit of skin, was built in 1996. 737's in general started being built in 1968 and the technology hasn't changed that much.

  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @02:25PM (#35736062)

    Airlines are extremely slow to take on new technology. Not because they don't want it, but because there is a huge lag time between technology inception, development, practical application, production of said technology, integration of technology into newer aircraft designs, ordering of aircraft (or retrofitting), and the aircraft actually becoming part of that airline's fleet. That span can easily be greater than a decade or two. Which means, by the time a technology is entering public use, its very likely to be a generation, or two, or three, beyond what's currently being researched.

    It's a lengthy, costly, pipeline adoption doesn't happen overnight because the costs are so large. Which means, in many cases, retrofitting is simply not an option. Which means, the only way the technology is going to enter a fleet is from new aircraft purchases.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @05:22PM (#35738260)

    I googled 600 dollar toilet seat and found this []

    Long story short, it wasn't a toilet seat, but was mislabeled on the DoD document as one, they only bought 20 and there was a ton of special manufacturing involved.

    A senate staffer picked up on "600 dollars" and "toilet seat" and used that to hammer at the Reagan administration.

    "A Pentagon spokesman, Glenn Flood stated, "The original price we were charged was $640, not just for a toilet seat, but for the large molded plastic assembly covering the entire seat, tank and full toilet assembly. The seat itself cost $9 and some cents. The supplier charged too much, and we had the amount corrected."' []

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