Drucella Andersen Headquarters, Washington, D.C. November 8, 1993 (Phone: 202/358-4727) H.

Keith Henry Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. (Phone: 804/864-6120) Linda Ellis Lewis Research Center, Cleveland (Phone: 216/433-2900) RELEASE: 93-202 NASA STARTS PHASE II OF SUPERSONIC AIRLINER EFFORT NASA has officially kicked off Phase II of its High-Speed Research Program, a partnership with U.S. industry to develop technology that could enable a next-generation supersonic airliner. "We've already tested some promising concepts that indicate a new supersonic transport could operate within strict noise regulations and also avoid damaging the ozone layer," said NASA Program Director Louis J. Williams. "Starting with this year's budget, we're taking those designs out of the lab and moving them closer to practical application." Phase II of the High-Speed Research Program will develop and prove the technology that the U.S. industry needs to make a future supersonic airliner economically practical as well as environmentally safe. Phase II will include performance evaluations of representative engine components, structural verification tests of new engine and airframe materials and flight tests of better wing designs and new cockpit technology.

During the next year, NASA and industry expect to agree on early designs for the engine combustion chamber and exhaust nozzle components and to choose candidate materials for use in supersonic airliner structures. NASA also will begin using the latest analysis tools and wind tunnel methods to reduce interference of the plane's engine nacelles with the aerodynamic performance of the plane's wings. - more -2NASA funding for the High-Speed Research Program in fiscal year 1994 is $197 million, with comparable investments planned through the end of this decade. This public-sector catalyst addresses only the highest-risk, highest-priority technology areas. Parallel investments by American industry also are being made to complete the full technology development required for product launch decisions. "When we finish Phase II, we should have answers to the technology challenges posed by such a revolutionary airplane," said Williams. "Airframe and engine manufacturers will know if they can build a supersonic airliner and make a profit. Airlines will know if they can operate the aircraft reliably and economically." "I strongly believe that NASA's work will produce a resounding 'yes' in both cases," Williams added. Phase I of the High-Speed Research Program, a 6-year effort started in fiscal year 1990, is focusing on the environmental compatibility of a high-speed civil transport in three areas: engine exhaust emissions, airport noise and sonic boom. Key Phase I progress includes laboratory testing of advanced combustion concepts that produce ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and creation of improved computer models for assessing the global effects of a supersonic airliner fleet on the atmosphere. A range of aircraft operational scenarios examined with these models currently indicates the possibility of very small effects on atmospheric ozone from the levels of NOx achieved

in the lab tests. NASA's Office of Aeronautics at Headquarters, Washington, D.C., directs the High-Speed Research Program. NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., is the agency's lead center for overall technical project implementation, with NASA's Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, leading the propulsion technology development. - end -