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.
The following are goals of the Aeronautics Enterprise:
NASA's High Speed Research Program will help keep the United
States at the forefront of an emerging high-speed civil transport market.
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.
Current studies are examining advanced aircraft capable of carrying 800 passengers at 0.85 Mach while burning less fuel than current aircraft.