Wing it: NASA has built a remote-controlled prototype
of its hybrid wing design.

ENERGY NEWS

“Hybrid Wing” Uses Half the Fuel of a Standard Airplane

NASA has demonstrated a manufacturing breakthrough that will allow hybrid wing aircraft to be scaled up.

By Kevin Bullis on January 24, 2013

Aerospace engineers have long known that ditching a conventional tubular fuselage in favor of a manta-ray-like “hybrid wing” shape could dramatically reduce fuel consumption. A team at NASA has now demonstrated a manufacturing method that promises to make the design practical.

Combined with an extremely efficient type of engine, called an ultra-high bypass ratio engine, the hybrid wing design could use half as much fuel as conventional aircraft. Although it may take 20 years for the technology to come to market, the manufacturing method developed at NASA could help improve conventional commercial aircraft within the next eight to 10 years, estimates Fay Collier, a NASA program manager.

Read more: NASA Demonstrates Manufacturing Methods for Hybrid Wing Aircraft | MIT Technology Review.

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