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Official NASA Communication 94-118

Official NASA Communication 94-118

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 05, 2007
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Drucella AndersenHeadquarters, Washington, D.C.July 15, 1994(Phone: 202/358-4733)H. Keith HenryLangley Research Center, Hampton, Va.(Phone: 804/864-6124)RELEASE: 94-118BOEING AND DOUGLAS TEAM UP IN HIGH-SPEED AERO CONTRACTNASA today announced the award of a $440 million contract thatmarks the first time America's two leading airplane manufacturershave teamed up to develop technologies for a potential futureU.S. High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT).This precedent-setting action joins Boeing CommercialAirplane Group, Seattle, Wash., with McDonnell Douglas Aerospace,Long Beach, Calif., and other companies to develop airframetechnologies for aerodynamics, flight systems and materials andstructures."Developing the technologies for a future supersonicairliner that will be environmentally friendly and economicallysuccessful presents a major challenge and opportunity," saidLouis J. Williams, Director of NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR)program. "This contract effectively combines the expertise andcapabilities of U.S. industry to accomplish this goal," Williamssaid.Boeing has proposed that McDonnell Douglas serve as thecompany's principle subcontractor. By working together under asingle contract, the two companies will be able to reduceredundancies, lower costs and accelerate research, ensuring thatthe United States remains at the forefront in commercialaerospace competition.Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, along with General ElectricCorp. and Pratt & Whitney, previously had competed with NASA viaseparate contracts in the first phase of the NASA HSR program.Phase I was aimed at developing technologies to address importantenvironmental issues such as the reduction of noise and engineemissions.
Progress made in Phase I has led to Phase II of the program,which focuses on moving technology concepts out of the laboratoryand into practical applications. Phase II will focus ondeveloping and providing the technology necessary to make afuture supersonic airliner economically practical as well asenvironmentally compatible.In June, NASA awarded Honeywell Inc. $75 million to conductflight deck systems research and technology development for thepotential HSCT, and last year the agency selected GE and Pratt &Whitney to negotiate a contract for propulsion technologies.The HSCT, a commercial supersonic aircraft, could fly 300passengers across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans at 2.4 times thespeed of sound -- cutting travel time by more than half. The newaircraft will fly faster than the Concorde, go nearly twice asfar and be able to carry three times as many passengers.The second phase also will include performance evaluationsof representative engine components, structural verificationtests of new engine and airframe materials and flight tests of better wing designs and new cockpit technology.The flight deck systems effort will develop controls,guidance and synthetic vision technology, such as might be usedto allow the pilot to fly the aircraft in all weather conditionswith a "no-nose-droop" design, a significant improvement over thefirst generation Concorde.The main objective of the aerodynamics effort is to developtechnology to increase the supersonic and subsonic cruiseperformance of the potential transport. Researchers will usewind tunnels and computational techniques to look at severaldifferent designs for the transport's components, primarily thewing and the horizontal tail.Researchers in materials and structures will develop newmetallic alloys and composite materials for the airframe that canwithstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit at cruisespeeds. Also, researchers will develop technology to producewing and fuselage structures that are 33 percent lighter inweight than comparable Concorde structures, while also economicalto manufacture and highly durable.

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