MIAMI – On May 28, NASA presented its budget requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 out of which US$914.8m are earmarked for aeronautics projects.

The budget part destined for aeronautics, showing an increase of US$86.1m over FY 2021, is destined to fund several projects.

Supersonic, Electric Flight

The first, which has funding of US$302m, concerns the development of a Quiet Super Sonic Transport (QueSST) or X-59 Low Boom Flight Demonstrator, the X-57 Maxwell All-Electric Aircraft, and a Sustainable Flight Demonstrator early design.

The second, totaling US$244m earmarked, is focused on an Advanced Air Vehicle (AAVP) with the aim to develop new aircraft systems, safer, faster, quieter, and cleaner flight, but including less fuel consumption.

This includes the development of a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) that, in cooperation with Boeing, is already going thru wind tunnel tests at NASA’s Ames facility.

Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) – Photo : NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Advanced Aviation Concepts, Air Transportation Systems

The third aerospace budget allocation, totaling US$144m and defined Transformative Areronautics Concept Program (TACP), is destined to researchers that are encouraged to come forward wih new ideas, giving them the possibility to perform tests, both on ground and in-flight, and achieve new concept to transform aviation and foster aeronautics advanced development.

The fourth part, with a budget of $105m, deals with Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP) and works closely with the FAA, with the aim being the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and achieve further safety of present and future aircraft. Also in view, the transition to a satellite-based air traffic control system and improve safety both on ground and in flight.


NASA Testing

The last line, earmarked with US$117m and titled Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC), indicates itself by its scopes.

This last allocation aims to maintain and develop NASA’s world-class testing facilities, wind-tunnels in particular, and continue to provide new capabilities and calibration via its worldwide renowned workforce.

Featured image: NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft, or QueSST, is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound without producing a loud, disruptive sonic boom, which is typically heard on the ground below aircraft flying at such speeds. Instead, with the X-59, people on the ground will hear nothing more than a quiet sonic thump – if they hear anything at all. The X-59 will fly over communities around the United States to demonstrate this technology, but first, NASA will need to validate the X-plane’s acoustic signature, using a ground recording system. Photo: NASA / Joey Ponthieux