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Slimmer Wings to Reduce Fuel Costs and Emissions
To lower fuel costs and emissions, NASA and Boeing are designing a longer, thinner and lighter wing for commercial air transport. Requiring a brace, or truss, for extra support, the wing is expected to reduce both fuel burn and carbon emissions by at least 50%. Slimmed down test models have less drag, more lift, and a 50% greater wingspan than current commercial craft. Engineers test the models in a wind tunnel to confirm the aircraft’s performance. This image shows Greg Gatlin, NASA aerospace research engineer, inspecting the truss-braced wing during wind tunnel testing.