NASA will reportedly soon request money to build a new line of efficient and environmentally friendly X-planes.
One of the most interesting-looking planes is a hybrid-wing body aircraft with turbofan engines on top of its back end. The new design reduces drag and will let engines become larger and more efficient, all while lowering the noise produced by such a large aircraft.
Jaiwon Shin, the associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, told Ars Technica that designing and building the plans would take up to five years, and that they would then be tested at Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.
The next step would be to incorporate the best parts of the planes (fuel efficiency and noise and emissions reductions) into commercial fleets over ten years. NASA estimates that could save the aviation industry $255 billion.