Radically Redefining the Airplane
“We’re trying to invest in technology that can decrease its impact.”
- project manager Ruben Del Rosario of NASA’s Glenn Research Center
The Brilliant Idea: A cleaner, quieter craft with a radical new design, setting the stage for a fundamental shift in aviation.
Boeing’s 737 is the best-selling jet airliner in history: Today, it carries 29 percent of all U.S. domestic air traffic and is responsible for 25 percent of the industry’s fuel use. A reinvention of this commercial workhorse, called the D series, could burn 70 percent less fuel, emit 75 percent less nitrogen oxide and dampen noise from takeoffs and landings. In short, it could transform air travel into a more environmentally benign practice.