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Boeing, NASA’s X-66A Aircraft Heads for Mods

Boeing [NYSE:BA] has transported an MD-90 airplane to the designated location for modifications as part of an experiment for the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration, a project under NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator initiative

The aircraft maker recorded the jet’s journey from Victorville, Calif., to Palmdale. Representatives from Boeing, NASA, and community leaders gathered at Boeing’s facility to celebrate the milestone for the experimental X-66A aircraft. 

See the Boeing Video: Transfer of the MD-90, which will be modified for the X-66A aircraft.   

Source: Boeing

What is NASA’s X-66A program? 

The X-66A represents NASA’s pioneering experimental aircraft aimed at aiding the U.S. in its goal of achieving net-zero aviation greenhouse gas emissions.

The process of the MD-90s aircraft’s modifications will start soon. Upon completion, ground and flight testing for the X-66A will kick off in 2028. 

“This signifies a crucial stride in the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, propels Boeing’s resolve towards sustainability, and brings us closer to the testing and validation of the TTBW design,” stated Boeing Chief Technology Officer Todd Citron.

Boeing and NASA’s SUGAR Program for Sustainable Flight 

The TTBW design, featuring ultrathin wings supported by struts with larger spans and higher-aspect ratios, coupled with other anticipated technological advancements, could potentially lead to a significant reduction in fuel usage and emissions by up to 30%. Boeing and NASA have collaborated for over a decade on this concept through the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) Program. 

“We at NASA are thrilled to collaborate with Boeing on the X-66A Sustainable Flight Demonstrator, making vital contributions to expedite aviation’s progress towards its 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emission objective,” voiced Ed Waggoner, deputy associate administrator for programs in the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

“Aerospace Valley carries a rich and esteemed history as the birthplace of aerospace innovation, and this unveiling underlines the continuation of this crucial work. Palmdale’s skilled workforce and infrastructure establish it as the ideal location for this significant project,” said Congressman Mike Garcia (CA-27).

US Airlines Back Boeing/NASA Sustainability Demonstrator Program

About Boeing

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing designs, builds, and offers services for commercial planes, defense products, and space systems to clients in over 150 countries. As a premier US exporter, the company uses the talents of a global supplier base to promote economic opportunity, sustainability, and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is dedicated to future innovation, leading with sustainability, and nurturing a culture grounded on the company’s core principles of safety, quality, and integrity.

Explore opportunities to join the Boeing team at boeing.com/careers.

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