Airlines could save billions of dollars in the near future as a result of green technologies.
Developed by NASA’s aeronautics researchers in the past six years, they claim the new technologies could cut airline fuel use in half, pollution by 75% and noise to nearly one-eighth of today’s levels.
Around $400 million (£273m) was invested by NASA during the six-year run of the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project while industry partners put in $250 million (£170m) since 2009.
Some of the technology demonstrations completed by the ERA researchers include an improved design for a jet engine combustor – the chamber in which fuel is burned – in an attempt to cut the amount of nitrogen oxides produced and new design tools to help reduce noise.
Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for aeronautics research said: “If these technologies start finding their way into the airline fleet, our computer models show the economic impact could amount to $255 billion (£174bn) in operational savings between 2025 and 2050.”