NASA Seeks Green Airliner Proposals

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NASA is actively seeking proposals to be received by July 15 for studies that aim to realize (by 2025) commercial airliner concept designs for quieter, cleaner and more economical flight -- and winners could see a payoff. According to the agency, "The total potential value of the research contracts is $36.6 million." Technological goals of the program include a 50-percent reduction in fuel consumption and nitrogen oxide emissions and an 80-percent reduction in the "nuisance noise footprint around airports" when compared with current airliners. Competitive design concepts will also be optimized for operation in the NextGen air traffic control environment. Once selected, test areas may include capabilities "that could enable routine operation of future unpiloted air vehicles." Entries will be distilled to as many as four teams that will then embark on 12-month studies to commence in fiscal year 2011.

NASA would like to see flight demonstrators capable of operating autonomously or via remote pilot. That means demonstration of collision avoidance, separation and communications technology and environmental-hazards detection and avoidance. The research will support NASA's Integrated Systems Research Program and hopes to methodically aggregate the best systems and design concepts for future commercial aviation transportation. Click here for specific evaluation criteria deadlines and points of contact.