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MD-90 Jet Arrives at Boeing Site for X-66A for Modification

Boeing has today ferried an MD-90 airplane to the Palmdale, California site where it will be modified to test the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration, as part of NASA’s Flight Demonstrator project.

MD-90 Ferried from Victorville to Boeing's Palmdale California Site for X-66A Modification - Courtesy Boeing/PRNewswire

On Thursday (August 17, 2023), Boeing announced that an MD-90 has been ferried from Victorville to Palmdale, California, where it will be modified to test the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) configuration, as part of NASA’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project. Leaders from Boeing, NASA and the local community gathered at the company’s Palmdale facility today to recognize the milestone in the development of the X-66A airplane. The airplane is NASA’s first experimental plane focused on helping the U.S. to achieve net-zero aviation GHG emissions. Modification of the MD-90 will begin soon and flight testing is projected to commence in 2028.

In Thursday’s announcement, Boeing’s Chief Technology Officer, Todd Citron, said,

“This marks an important step in the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, advances Boeing's commitment to sustainability and brings us closer to testing and validating the TTBW design.”

Also commenting on the milestone occasion, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs in the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Ed Waggoner, said,

“We at NASA are excited to be working with Boeing on the X-66A Sustainable Flight Demonstrator making critical contributions to accelerate aviation towards its 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emission goal.”

Boeing/NASA X-66A Livery Rendering - Courtesy Boeing/PRNewswire

The TTBW design features ultrathin wings braced by struts with larger spans and higher-aspect ratios, which, when combined with other technological advances could lead to a reduction in fuel use and emissions of up to 30 percent. For over a decade, Boeing and NASA have collaborated on the concept through the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program.

Boeing Ferries an MD-90 From Victorville to Palmdale, California for X-66A Modification on Thursday, August 17, 2023 - Courtesy Boeing/PRNewswire

Boeing (NYSE: BA) is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading supplier of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, as well as global services. The aerospace giant tops the list of the largest U.S. exporters, providing a significant positive impact to America’s annual GDP. Boeing supports government and commercial customers in over 150 countries and employs more than 160,000 team members worldwide. As Boeing continues to deliver for customers, they are committed to their legacy of aerospace leadership in technology and innovation and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

Source: Boeing/PRNewswire


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