Although we think of NASA as focusing its time and efforts on the exploration of outer space, the engineers and researchers are working to improve the commercial jet experience for us earthlings. NASA is experimenting with designs for a faster and quieter plane that has less of a harsh effect on the environment. This plane is poised to replace the Boeing 737 by the 2030s.

A Quieter Ride

In order to cut down on the noise factor, the wings on this prototype plane are higher up on the jet’s body and weigh much less than that of current jets. With this technology, NASA wants to figure out a way to quiet the sonic-boom, which could open up the possibility of air travel in supersonic jets again in the future.

Greener Skies

In an effort to make air travel greener, NASA hopes to cut fuel use by more than 50 percent and cut emissions by 80 percent. With air travel usage on track to double by 2030, more fuel will be consumed by an increase in flights, as well as more carbon emissions being pushed into the atmosphere. Engineers will play a large role in figuring out how to cut these harmful emissions to help protect our air.

While this new aircraft is far from being finalized, these exciting improvements for a plane that is environmentally friendly, faster and quieter show a truly positive future for passenger air travel.

Written by IEEE on April 18, 2016