Boeing has transported an MD-90 aircraft to the site where it will be modified to test the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration as part of NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project.
Boeing, NASA, and community officials gathered at the company’s site today to commemorate a significant milestone in the construction of the experimental X-66A aircraft. Boeing also released images of the jet’s voyage from Victorville, Calif., to Palmdale.
The X-66A is NASA’s first experimental aircraft designed to assist the United States in reaching its objective of net-zero aviation greenhouse gas emissions. The modification process will shortly start, and testing on the ground and in the air should start in 2028.
Boeing Chief Technology Officer Todd Citron said, “This marks a critical step in the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, advances Boeing’s commitment to sustainability, and puts us closer to testing and verifying the TTBW design.
The TTBW design and other anticipated technology advancements could result in fuel use and emissions reductions of up to 30% with ultrathin wings reinforced by struts with bigger spans and higher aspect ratios. Through the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) Programme, Boeing and NASA have worked together on the idea for over a decade.