Boeing and NASA partner with Delta to make aviation sustainable

Delta Air Lines is one of the US airlines that have formed a new sustainability coalition that will collaborate closely with NASA and Boeing to make aviation more sustainable. The airlines coalition will advise NASA and Boeing in the development of the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD) project and aid the development of the X-66A research aircraft.

Delta Air Lines is joined in the coalition by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. The aim is to get the SFD plane to fly in 2028. The results of its flight tests will help inform industry decisions as to the design of new production single-aisle aircraft for 2030.

Airport Technology reports that Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project’s goal is to collaborate with businesses, academia and other governmental agencies to identify and develop key airframe technologies that can make the next generation of single-aisle seat class aircraft more sustainable.

According to Boeing’s chief technology officer Todd Citron, getting feedback is crucial in projects such as the SFD project: “Hearing directly from the operators during all phases of the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project will help us understand exact requirements and trade-offs. The airlines’ feedback will significantly contribute to the project learnings while furthering aviation sustainability.”

Also, the airlines will offer feedback of the development of the X-66A, the first plane that is fitted with the so-called Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) airframe.