The future of commercial flight might look something like the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept proposed by Boeing.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from Boeing Creative Services; released to the Public.
Since 2010, The Boeing Company, together with the aeronautical experts at NASA, have been developing an efficient form of high-set wing which has evolved to become the centerpiece of Boeing's "Transonic Truss-Braced Wing" (TTBW) concept. The wing is intended as a high-efficiency alternative to modern monoplane designs, potentially able to fly higher and faster than such types if proven. The TTBW has seen consistent and progressive refinement since it was first showcased and may very well mark the future of civilian airspace powered flight.
The latest Boeing artist's impression of the aircraft in 2019 sees a fuselage component and tail unit not unlike that of the existing Model 737 or MD-80 airliner. The most noticeable difference becomes the forward-set, shoulder-mounted, high-aspect-ratio wing mainplanes of reduced drag which are seated high along the fuselage sides and further braced by a truss supporting plane emanating from the low sides of the fuselage. Nacelled engines are underslung at each wing mainplane - and these may end up as hybrid-electric engines to maximum fuel efficiency over range. The flight deck and tricycle undercarriage (retractable) are all in their usual place in the Boeing jet airliner design.
Currently (2019) the mainplanes have a span of 170 feet and are of an ultra-thin chord to promote exceptional aerodynamic efficiency - as such the thin wings require the presence of the supporting truss members which enable such a slim wing to be used. The truss sections have thicker chord near the fuselage and taper towards the ends meeting the underside of the mainplanes. Due to their extended span over that of conventional airliner wings, the TTBW's mainplanes are set to have a wing-folding feature to better operate at modern airport terminals. The wings have already been tested in a NASA wind tunnel.
The original TTBW design promoted speeds in the range of Mach 0.70 to 0.75 - the new wings make speeds of 0.80 possible according to estimates.
Into 2019, testing on the subscale model is ongoing and will continue, ultimately paving the way for a full-scale "x-plane" offering still to come.
[ 0 Units ] : Boeing Company - USA
- Commercial Market
- X-Plane / Developmental
93.50 ft (28.5 m)
169.95 ft (51.8 m)
37.07 ft (11.3 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) production model)
61,729 lb (28,000 kg)
110,231 lb (50,000 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) production model)
2 x Non-afterburning turbofan engines.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) production model)
615 mph (990 kph; 535 kts)
32,808 feet (10,000 m; 6.21 miles)
2,485 miles (4,000 km; 2,160 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) production model)
Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) - Base Project Name.
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