NASA has mastered the art of space travel with the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, and now it looks like the organisation is turning its attention to air travel here on Earth. NASA recently formed a partnership with the aviation industry to develop more eco-friendly aircraft.
As part of the partnership, NASA will look to advance designs and modelling tools that will be used for future aircraft which make use of an Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) system. The organisation is also seeking proposals for ground and flight demonstrations of integrated megawatt-class powertrain systems for subsonic aircraft.
“The release of this request for proposals represents an important next step as NASA partners with industry to further mature critical EAP technologies through demonstrating integrated megawatt-class powertrain systems in flight,” said Lee Noble, NASA’s Integrated Aviation System Program director.
Through partnerships with the U.S. industry, NASA intends to accelerate integrated megawatt-class powertrain system maturation and transition to the global fleet, as well as identify and address gaps in regulations and standards.
NASA and industry studies have shown that EAP concepts can reduce energy use, carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions while also reducing the cost of air travel for both the public and the airline operators.
The space agency is looking to introduce its electric propulsion tech into global fleets by 2035 and has already identified what aircraft could use the new technology. These include turboprops, regional jets, and single-aisle aircraft.
The deadline for proposals is set for 20 April 2021.