NASA And Boeing Are Working On Wings That Could Make Planes Much Faster

The familiar silhouette of a passenger airplane might be changing soon. Thanks to a collaboration between plane manufacturer Boeing and NASA, a new type of airplane wing might be in the pipeline.

Last week, Boeing unveiled a preview of a new wing type they have developed through their work with NASA in the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program.

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Though it doesn’t look too different from the standard wings we’re used to seeing on passenger crafts, the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing features a support structure that holds the wing up from beneath. It measures about 170 feet across and can sustain speeds of up to 615 mph. Today’s passenger planes typically fly at speeds of around 460 to 560 mph.

If the new wing is implemented on passenger planes, airlines will be able to reduce fuel costs by up to 60 percent. Some of those savings would likely be passed on to customers, which makes this a pretty exciting development for airlines and globetrotters alike.