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Fundamental Aeronautics Program Banner
FUNDAMENTAL AERONAUTICS
The goal of the Fundamental Aeronautics (FA) Program is to achieve technological capabilities necessary to overcome national challenges in air transportation including reduced noise, emissions and fuel consumption, and increased mobility through a faster means of transportation.

FA's research is guided by the NASA Strategic Plan and the National Aeronautics R&D Policy and Plan (2010 update). It is consistent with the National Academy of Sciences Decadal Study of Civil Aeronautics (2006), and is aligned with the Agency Strategic Plan (NPD 1001.0) Strategic Goal 4: "Advance aeronautics research for societal benefit" and Strategic Outcome 4.1: "Develop innovative solutions and advanced technologies through a balanced research portfolio to improve current and future air transportation."

While FA's technologies can have widespread application in the aviation community, its technology portfolio is primarily aligned with these National Aeronautics R&D Plan goals:
  1. Mobility Goal 5: Develop expanded manned and unmanned aircraft system capabilities to take advantage of increased air transportation system performance.
  2. National Security Goal 2: Develop improved lift, range, and mission capability for rotorcraft.
  3. National Security Goal 5: Demonstrate sustained, controlled, hypersonic flight.
  4. Energy and Environment Goal 1: Enable new aviation fuels derived from diverse and domestic resources to improve fuel supply security and price stability.
  5. Energy and Environment Goal 2: Advance development of technologies and operations to enable significant increases in the energy efficiency of the aviation system.
  6. Energy and Environment Goal 3: Advance development of technologies and operational procedures to decrease the significant environmental impacts of the aviation system.
These advanced capabilities—in the form of innovative concepts, tools, technologies and knowledge—will enable revolutionary design solutions for the performance and environmental challenges of future flight vehicles.

The FA Program consists of four research projects.
  • The Fixed Wing Project explores and develops technologies and concepts for improved energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of fixed wing, subsonic transports.

  • The Rotary Wing Project develops and validates tools, technologies and concepts to overcome key barriers for rotary wing vehicles.

  • The High Speed Project enables tools, technologies and validation capabilities necessary to overcome environmental and performance barriers to practical civil supersonic airliners.

  • The Aeronautical Sciences Project enables fast, efficient design and analysis of advanced aviation systems by developing physics-based tools and methods for cross-cutting technologies.



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Editor: Karen Rugg
NASA Official: Tony Springer
Last Updated: October 29, 2012
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