While it doesn’t get as much attention as the evolution of vehicles, NASA have been working on the improvement of aircraft travel. They’ve developed a series of X-planes that tackle various limitations of today’s industry. One of the latest concepts is an aircraft that reduces fuel consumption.
Called the Single-aisle Turboelectric AiRCraft, the concept plane features a different boundary layer than conventional airplanes. It combines turbofan jets with a boundary-layer ingesting engine. Air that flows along the body of these aircrafts is collected by these giant fans and converted into thrust, which is known as the STARC-ABL concept.
These large fans are powered by two separate underwing engines that provide up to three megawatts of energy for the boundary-layer ingesting engine. It’s crucial for the engine to have plenty of power as it’s responsible for 20 percent takeoff power and 45 percent cruise power. According to NASA, the engine’s abilities could save 10 percent of fuel consumption.