Aeronautics Enterprise

Aeronautical research and technology plays a vital role in ensuring the safety, environmental compatibility, and productivity of the air transportation system, and in enhancing the economic health and national security of the Nation. However, numerous factors-including growth in air traffic, increasingly demanding international environmental standards, an aging aircraft fleet, and aggressive foreign competition-represent formidable challenges to the Nation in the future. The continued safety and productivity of the Nation's air transportation system and future U.S. competitiveness in aeronautics depend on a coordinated and effective national investment in aeronautical research and technology.

NASA's Aeronautics Enterprise will pioneer the identification, development, verification, transfer, application, and commercialization of high-payoff aeronautics technologies. It seeks to promote economic growth and national security through safe, superior, and environmentally compatible U.S. civil and military aircraft and through a safe, efficient national aviation system. This Enterprise will work closely in a national alliance with its aeronautics customers, including U.S. industry, the university community, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to ensure that national investments in aeronautical research and technology are effectively defined and coordinated and that NASA's technology products and services add value, are timely, and have been developed to the level at which the customer can confidently make decisions regarding the application of those technologies.

graphical illustration of the Aeronautics Enterprise Goals as listed below

The following are goals of the Aeronautics Enterprise:

illustration of conceptual high speed civil transport aircraft NASA's High Speed Research Program will help keep the United States at the forefront of an emerging high-speed civil transport market.

illustration of computer generated virtual wind tunnel


Innovations in information systems technology will enable significant advances in the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft, including the increased utilization of "virtual wind tunnels."

To help achieve these goals, the Enterprise will continue to restructure its research program, increase customer review of program planning and execution, emphasize the use of low-cost experimental aircraft to increase flight opportunities, and reduce and rationalize infrastructure via centralized facility management, the designation of Centers of Excellence, and national alliance activities. The Center of Excellence concept will serve to focus the in-house research program, provide single points of contact for management and external customers, and ensure maximum cost-effectiveness.

conceptual drawing of an 800 passanger, high speed transport aircraft.


Current studies are examining advanced aircraft capable of carrying 800 passengers at 0.85 Mach while burning less fuel than current aircraft.

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