This NASA’s Project Research Could Save Airlines Billions

NASA’s ERA project could cut airline fuel use by half, pollution by 75% and noise to nearly 1/8th of today’s levels.

Tech News
1 min read
Researchers with NASA’s ERA project said that it might someday be possible to design smaller vertical tails that would reduce drag and save fuel. (Photo: NASA)

NASA, in its recent press release, said that US’s airlines could realise more than $250 billion in savings in the near future, thanks to green-related technologies developed and refined by their aeronautics researchers during the past six years.

These new technologies, developed under the purview of NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project, could cut airline fuel use by half, pollution by 75 percent and noise to nearly one-eighth of today’s levels.

If these technologies start finding their way into the airline fleet, our computer models show that the economic impact could amount to $255 billion in operational savings between 2025 and 2050.

Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research, NASA

Created in 2009 and completed in 2015, ERA’s mission was to explore and document the feasibility, benefits and technical risk of inventive vehicle concepts and enabling technologies that would reduce aviation’s impact on the environment. Project researchers focused on eight major integrated technology demonstrations falling into three categories – airframe technology, propulsion technology and vehicle systems integration. Read NASA’s full research here.

As part of the closeout work for the ERA project, information and results regarding each of these technology demonstrations were categorised and stored for future access and use by the aerospace industry, and will be discussed at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Sci-Tech Conference in San Diego this week.

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