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Aeronautics

Our work advances propulsion for aircraft while reducing energy consumption, noise, emissions and the cost of air travel. We are committed to investigating the use of alternative energy sources and improving the safety and expediency of flight.

Expertise

  • Engine cycles
  • Advanced propulsion systems
  • Component improvements
  • Controls and dynamics
  • Harsh environment sensors
  • Electronics
  • Instrumentation
  • Health monitoring and management
  • Materials and structures
  • Power extraction and management
  • Icing
  • Fuels and propellants
  • Acoustics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Heat transfer
  • Aerothermodynamics and plasmas

The Future of Aviation: Quieter. Cleaner. Faster. (music only)
Credits: NASA

What we’re working on

Large-Scale Swept Wing Model in the NASA Glenn Icing Research Tunnel
Ice accreted on a Large-Scale Swept Wing Model in the NASA Icing Research Tunnel.

Icing Research

NASA’s icing research involves the development of tools and methods for evaluating and simulating the growth of ice on current and future aircraft surfaces or inside the engines and the effects that ice may have on the behavior of aircraft in flight.

Boundary Layer Ingestion testing in NASA Glenn 8'x6' wind tunnel.
Boundary Layer Ingestion propulsion concept undergoing high-speed testing in the NASA Glenn 8’x6’ wind tunnel.   Credits: Dave Arend/NASA

Boundary Layer Ingestion Propulsion

The aviation industry has made tremendous strides in increasing the efficiency of today’s aircraft, especially by significantly reducing the fuel consumption of the aircraft engines. NASA’s Glenn Research Center is working on propulsion technology to increase the fuel efficiency of future aircraft even more, reducing the overall cost to consumers and the impact on the … Read the rest ⇢

Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP)
NASA STARC-ABL

Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP)

Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) is the use of propulsors (propellers or fans) driven by electric motors to propel aircraft ranging from air taxis to subsonic transports. NASA is developing technology, aircraft concepts, test aircraft, and ground test facilities to turn this idea from science fiction to reality. Lessons learned will have a positive impact on … Read the rest ⇢

STARC-ABL electrical
STARC-ABL electrical

Hybrid Electric Propulsion

NASA is investing in Hybrid Electric Propulsion research as part of its overall efforts to improve the fuel efficiency, emissions, and noise levels in commercial transport aircraft. The term “hybrid electric” is being used loosely here, and it’s really meant to encompass many different methods for using both airplane fuel and electricity to drive the … Read the rest ⇢

Advanced Air Transport Technology (AATT)
Compact Gas Turbine (CGT)


Testing of rear stages of a compressor representing features of reduced core size in low speed rig at NASA Glenn Research Center. This work is under the scope of the “Compact Gas Turbine (CGT)” subproject of the Advanced Air Transport Technology (AATT) Project and is a collaboration with Pratt & Whitney. The W-1A Team won the 2018 Craftmanship Award for Assembly & Build-up Technologies for their superior workmanship in support for this test.
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