ABOVE: The ultrathin wings would be braced by aerofoil section lifting-surface struts of high aspect ratio

NASA has selected Boeing to lead the development of a full-scale Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) demonstrator aircraft.

The technologies tested as part of the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD) program aim to achieve breakthrough aerodynamics and fuel efficiency gains.

When combined with expected advancements in propulsion systems, materials and systems architecture, a single-aisle aeroplane with a TTBW configuration could reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 30% relative to today’s most efficient single-aisle aircraft, depending on the mission. Specifically, ultrathin wings (braced by struts with large span and high aspect ratio) could eventually accommodate advanced propulsion systems that are limited by a lack of underwing space in today’s low-wing configurations.