PART I:
OVERVIEW



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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century PART I: OVERVIEW

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century This page in the original is blank.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century 1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY INTRODUCTION In keeping with the charter of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to preserve "the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical technology …,"1 NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology asked the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council to assist in assessing the current status of aeronautical technology and to help define a long-term aeronautics technology program to meet the challenges of the next several decades. The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board established an ad hoc steering committee that defined a three-part approach to helping NASA determine the appropriate level and focus its near-term technology development efforts so as to produce a competitive level of capability in the years 2000–2020. The first phase of the study was designed to review the transportation infrastructure and forecast the types of aircraft, and their capabilities, that are likely to exist in the global market in the 2000–2020 time frame. The Committee estimated the growth that can be expected in domestic and international markets, and forecast the generic advances in performance that will be required to meet that growth. The Committee concluded that the development of technology for advanced subsonic transport aircraft is vital to the future of the U.S. aeronautics industry. The short-haul category, consisting of aircraft that carry fewer than 100 passengers, is important but is a much smaller market in terms of both revenue and employment. Supersonic transport aircraft may also play an important role in the long-term, but at this stage, important technical questions must be answered concerning atmospheric effects, noise, sonic boom, and overall economic viability. This is not to imply that NASA's work on future, exotic concepts should be eliminated, rather, it is important that a proper balance be struck between making plans to shape the future and addressing issues of immediate importance—without which the future is in jeopardy. The second phase of the study used the aircraft system forecasts to identify high-leverage technologies both in the traditional disciplines of aeronautics (aerodynamics, propulsion, 1   National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century structures, and avionics) and in areas of technology that have only recently been integrated into any but the most sophisticated systems (for example, cognitive engineering). The technical panels of the Committee then identified the technologies that offer the most significant advances that could contribute to economic competitiveness and improvement of the air transportation system. The third phase of the study addressed, very briefly, the issue of the interaction between government (primarily NASA) and the U.S. aircraft industry in the development of aeronautical technology. The U.S. and global aircraft markets have changed in the last decade from being totally dominated by U.S. manufacturers to the current condition in which foreign competition has seized a significant share of the market. This erosion of standing the market is due, in some measure, to a perceived failure of the U.S. aeronautical technology community to develop or adopt technologies that ultimately result in better products. This portion of the study investigated the possibilities for a more effective relationship between all members of the community. The report is divided into three parts. Part I provides background on the benefits and economics of the aircraft industry. Part II is a system-by-system analysis of the current status, outlook, and barriers to progress in the various types of aircraft under study, including NASA's contributions. Part III deals with technological and operational issues across the various system types. Each of the following chapters (chapters 2-11) of the report includes key findings of the Committee and specific recommendations to NASA pertaining to the particular subject of that chapter. Findings and recommendations include discussion of the role of government, where appropriate (particularly those sections designating NASA's contributions). The remaining sections of this overview chapter discuss the benefits of a strong aeronautics industry and the role that technological advancement plays in keeping that industry competitive. These are also touched on in later sections but are offered here as a necessary background to understanding the total U.S. aeronautics program. MAINTAINING A STRONG AERONAUTICS PROGRAM The fact that the U.S. aeronautics industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy is undeniable. However, the overall benefits of the industry to the country as a whole are not often articulated in a manner that focuses attention on what must be done to meet future challenges. The definition of a strong aeronautics program must include a healthy and vigorous research effort, and a similarly aggressive drive to get the fruits of that research into products that meet the needs of the marketplace. The result of such an action should be that U.S. airframe, engine, and aircraft components and parts manufacturers maintain or increase their share of the global market as that market expands into new services and new parts of the world. What are the overall benefits of a strong U.S. presence in the aeronautics industry, and what must be done to maintain that presence? The most fundamental benefit is the contribution that the aircraft industry makes to the quality of life of the people of the United States through the economic benefits and jobs generated by a healthy, competitive, and growing industry.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century Air travel contributes to the ability to do business in all sectors of the economy, through greater mobility of workers and the corresponding ability to integrate geographically separate divisions of companies, including expansion into foreign markets. Furthermore, air travel has made it possible for people to live and work in areas of the country determined by the availability of employment, without compromising family ties or vacation options. Thus, the quality of the air transportation system has a direct impact on the quality of life of every U.S. citizen. The increasing demands for business and personal travel have created corresponding demands for more and safer air transportation that connects more places with greater overall convenience. These demands are manifested in the requirements that airlines levy on aircraft manufacturers, on the air traffic management (ATM) system, and on airport services. Moreover, the presence of a healthy aircraft industry, and a healthy technological base in aeronautics and related disciplines, allows the United States to build world-class military aircraft, engenders national prestige around the world, and benefits the economy as a whole through growth and balance of trade. Thus, it matters a great deal that this nation has the technology and manufacturing capability required to build the best military and civilian aircraft in the world. Economic Indicators in Air Transportation The size of the worldwide air transportation market in which U.S. companies competed in 1990 is impressive: more than 1 trillion revenue passenger-miles and 45 billion revenue ton-miles of freight and mail annually. Forecasts for growth into the next century are even more striking: a doubling of revenue passenger-miles by 2005 and as many as 4 trillion revenue passenger-miles by 2020, a growth in revenue ton-miles to more than 200 billion by 2020, and a growth in the jet fleet to 14,000 by 2005 and 20,000 by 2020.2 The market is huge, and more important, it is growing.3 In the past, growth in the air transport market would have automatically meant a corresponding growth in the U.S. aircraft industry, since U.S. companies dominated the market. In recent years, however, foreign competitors have made significant inroads into the design and manufacturing dominance of U.S. companies, to the point where the short-haul and general aviation segments of the market have been almost totally lost. Airbus Industries (a European consortium) has supplanted McDonnell Douglas as the second largest maker of large commercial subsonic aircraft. Clearly, as the worldwide market grows, U.S. companies will be forced to compete more effectively than in the past to realize the benefits of that growth. Does it matter that opportunities to maintain dominance in the industry might be lost? As long as the U.S. industry maintains a constant level of sales, or a slight growth, will a failure to maximize the advantage of the growing market mean a net decrease in the standard of living of the citizens of the United States? The answer to each question is yes. Every year more 2   Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. 1990. Current Market Outlook—World Travel Market Demand and Airplane Supply Requirements. Seattle, Wash. 3   Aerospace Industries Association of America. 1991. Aerospace Facts and Figures 91-92. Washington, D.C.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century workers enter the job market than leave it. Each year a greater percentage of women enter the job market, and overseas citizens continue to seek employment in the United States because of its high standard of living. Maintenance of this standard of living requires creation of new jobs through expansion of existing industries or creation of new industries. An important economic measure is market share—the percentage of the market captured by a company's, or a country's, products. On a gross level, revenues are a function of market share and the rate of growth of the industry. It is possible to lose market share and yet maintain revenues if the industry is growing, and it is possible to maintain or even increase revenues in a stagnant or shrinking market by increasing market share. It is important that in a rapidly growing market, U.S manufacturers maintain the capability to keep pace with increasing orders. If U.S. manufacturers cannot keep pace, orders will increasingly fall to foreign competitors. Benefits of Large Market Share The benefits to a nation of a large market share are threefold: security of the jobs and tax base that the industry produces influence on the pace and direction of the market and the national prestige that follows products into the world market. In considering the U.S. aeronautics industry, in particular, the first benefit is clear—more high-quality jobs for U.S. workers, more capital within the industry for reinvestment, greater profits to U.S. shareholders, and an increased tax base that filters through the entire U.S. economy. A loss in market share can reduce revenues, reduce the potential to grow along with the industry as a whole and, thus, reduce the ability of manufacturers to provide jobs over the long-term. This affects not only the aircraft industry proper, but also its numerous supporting and benefiting industries and, thus, the economy as a whole. The second benefit, U.S. influence in the marketplace, enables U.S. manufacturers to determine the opportunities that provide the greatest payoff for their efforts and to exploit them at a pace consistent with U.S. interests. When U.S. market share is high, U.S. manufacturers have the luxury of time and capital to develop additional capabilities, to better pick and choose opportunities, and to attract and retain high-quality personnel. As U.S. market share declines, however, the market is likely to be driven increasingly by foreign competitors. Thus, U.S. manufacturers will be less able to provide stable employment because their control over market forces will be significantly decreased. Although the expanding market may offset the effects of decreasing market share over the short term, continued erosion in market share ultimately will produce a corresponding erosion in the heretofore undisputed dominance of the market that the United States has enjoyed. Additional revenues that might have been gained will not be realized, and foreign competitors will wield greater and greater influence on market forces. The third benefit relates to how the perception of a nation's standing in the world affects its ability to lead politically, militarily, and economically. This perception is strongly tied to the standing of the nation's products in the world's economy. In short, the ability to develop and market a wide range of world-class products engenders a belief that the producing country belongs in the upper echelon of the world's nations. Given that the technological sophistication of foreign competitors equals that of U.S. aircraft manufacturers in some areas, and given the

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century primary importance that foreign governments ascribe to the global aeronautics industry, the United States must take steps to keep pace. Although the United States has a sizable lead in industry sales, much effort is needed to maintain that lead throughout the next several decades and beyond. A growing industry implies penetration of civilian aircraft sales into new markets as well as an increase in the size of current markets. Penetration into new markets can be accomplished with conventional aircraft as more airports are built in developing areas of the world. Penetration may also be accomplished via expanded capability of vertical takeoff and landing or short takeoff and landing aircraft in areas where air travel is profitable but where conventional airports are difficult to build. U.S. companies must provide for these needs ahead of the foreign competition so that as the global industry grows, the U.S. portion of the industry will grow rather than decline. The key to maintaining economic growth and market share in the aircraft industry is the same as in all other highly competitive markets: customer satisfaction. It is vital that U.S. industry, in partnership with the universities and government agencies that develop the latest technological concepts, address a broad range of issues that ultimately relate to making better products. Mechanisms that allow greater use of new technologies in products and that permit manufacturers to shorten the time required to make those products, clearly allow manufacturers to offer more sophisticated aircraft to all users. Better performance, whether improved fuel economy, greater range, more passengers, or reduced maintenance requirements, also provides a clear incentive to buy American aircraft. Similarly, improved safety, reduced cost, and greater capacity to move passengers and cargo in a convenient manner all contribute to the competitiveness of U.S. products. Finally, given the increased awareness of the impact that aircraft have on the global environment, and the expectation that more strict limits on noise and engine emissions will be set as population densities and numbers of aircraft increase around the world, it is clear that efforts to make aircraft less intrusive, while maintaining all other advances in safety and performance, will yield more competitive products. REQUIREMENTS FOR GROWTH Realization of the benefits described above requires that the technology that forms the basis of the aeronautics industry be focused on the primary missions of the industry—competitive products and services. NASA has played and will continue to play a key role in development of this technology. The Committee has identified seven needs that must be addressed by the U.S. aeronautics community, including NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), aircraft manufacturers, and air carriers, if the United States is to maintain or increase its share of the global aircraft market: (1) improved aircraft performance, (2) greater capacity to handle passengers and cargo, (3) lower cost and greater convenience, (4) greater aircraft and ATM system safety, (5) reduced environmental impact, (6) more efficient technology transfer from NASA to industry, and (7) reduced product development times. Neither the Committee's charter nor its makeup allowed detailed consideration of the last two needs, so they are not discussed in detail in this report.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century Lower cost/greater convenience: Generally, people choose air travel over automobile, bus, ship, or rail because their desire for shorter trip times justifies the cost. Also, in many cases, air travel is the only choice, so that if the cost is excessive the potential traveler does not make the trip. To open new markets in developing nations and to expand current markets, the cost of the service must remain low enough to maintain that justification. Furthermore, the level of convenience of the service must not be compromised such that passengers in existing markets are driven to other forms of transportation. In short, advances in the speed, range, or payload of the various classes of aircraft must not be accompanied by large increases in cost or degradation of service. Thus, greater fuel efficiency and reduced operational costs must be vigorously pursued, and increases in airport and ATM system capacity must not come at the expense of convenience. Greater capacity to handle passengers and cargo: A major factor that may impose a ceiling on the ability of the aviation industry to respond to the growing demand for air travel is airport and ATM system capacity. Where local restrictions allow, it is simplest to build more airports and runways. However, this is not possible in most cases. Rather, to open up new markets or to expand existing markets, it is imperative that both the ATM system and the existing airports be capable of dealing with more people and packages flying on more and different kinds of aircraft. Safe reductions in aircraft separation, better real-time weather reporting, and facilities for a wide variety of long- and short-range aircraft all contribute to the ability to move more people and cargo through the system, and thus to the growth of both the industry and the economy. Reduced environmental impact: The impact of aircraft on the environment is a limiting factor on the growth of the industry. Aircraft noise restrictions limit the proximity of airports to major population centers, the utility of rotorcraft within cities, and the potential for supersonic flight over land. In addition, a change in the ozone level that results from the emission of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons by aircraft is an area of growing concern that may, in the near future, limit the number and types of aircraft that fly over the United States and other environmentally conscious countries. Greater aircraft/ATM system safety: As more planes takeoff and land each year, it is vital that the rate of accidents continues to decrease to avoid the perception that air travel is unsafe. Improved aircraft performance: Advances in performance of conventional subsonic aircraft, rotorcraft, short takeoff and landing aircraft, and supersonic aircraft will enable more viable expansion into new markets and expansion of existing routes. Two additional areas of need have been identified by the Committee but have not been addressed in detail: (1) better technology transfer and (2) shortened product development times. The belief is prevalent in the industry today that although the United States leads the world in understanding the basic technology of flight systems, U.S. companies are slow to incorporate useful new technology into their products. This delay is due partly to the difficulty in obtaining access to advanced technology, but also to the risk involved in developing products based on unproven technologies. Foreign competitors have reached a level of sophistication that allows

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century them to produce aircraft that are technically equal to those produced in the United States, in part because they are often shielded from the associated risk through government/industry cooperative arrangements. The potential impact on U.S. market share is immense; airlines will buy the aircraft that reduces their cost, or increases their capability, with little regard to its country of origin. If a foreign competitor produces an aircraft that is superior to one offered by a U.S. company, or is equivalent but lower in price, U.S. market share will be lost along with the jobs and tax base that go with it. In a similar vein, it is not enough to make a superior product if the product does not also arrive in the marketplace ahead of the competition. As with the incorporation of new technology, there is a concern in the industry that U.S. companies are at a disadvantage in meeting rapid changes in market demand because of an inability to integrate design, supply, and manufacturing. More specialized aircraft, shorter production runs, and special-purpose modifications are likely to gain in importance in the future. The ability to go from identification of a market need to production of a product ahead of the competition will be essential for maintaining U.S. market share. These two weaknesses are difficult to quantify, but the Committee believes that they are important to the competitive posture of the nation's aircraft industry. All these needs, and particularly the two that were not specifically addressed by the Committee, have managerial and financial, as well as technological, components. In fact, in some cases the importance of technology pales in comparison to the impact that can be gained from reduced cost, reduced liability, more creative investment and tax policies, and more creative management. Nonetheless, the Committee feels that the technological advances that enable better commercial products are necessary (if not sufficient) for maintaining the health of the U.S. aircraft industry. THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY The Committee was asked to address the technologies that will be necessary to meet the needs of the next several decades. What are the technologies that will allow U.S. companies to increase the performance of their aircraft? What technologies can contribute to decreasing airport congestion without affecting safety and convenience? How can the undesirable environmental impact of aircraft be lessened, and the favorable impacts nurtured, without making the cost of operations prohibitive? The Committee identified the following five generic disciplines for use in consideration of these questions and established subcommittees to address each area in detail: (1) propulsion, (2) aerodynamics, (3) materials and structures, (4) avionics and controls, and (5) cognitive engineering.4 In addition, a subcommittee was established to 4   Cognitive engineering is defined as the use of knowledge developed by the cognitive sciences to allow the human/machine interface to become more effective. Among other factors, it deals with how data are presented to an aircrew to produce effective information integration and decision making. In short, cognitive engineering uses knowledge about humans and technology to increase the effectiveness of the aircrew, flight controllers, and air transportation in general.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century address operational and environmental issues. Although not independent disciplines per se, the Committee considered operational and environmental issues to be of such importance that they warrant specific attention. Another area that many members of the Committee felt was worthy of close consideration is manufacturing technology and, in general, those technologies that contribute to shortening the product development cycle and reducing manufacturing cost. However, the Committee was not constituted to consider these technologies in detail, nor does it consider development of commercial manufacturing processes to be the province of NASA. Nonetheless, the Committee believes that advances in the individual technologies that make up a complete commercial manufacturing process are vital to the long-term health of the aircraft industry and that NASA, in partnership with industry, has a role to play in their development. Table 1-1 relates the five disciplines that have been considered by the Committee to the first five needs (i.e., excluding technology transfer and speed to market) discussed in the previous section, in terms of the benefits the disciplines offer. The needs that are listed in Table 1-1 are not necessarily independent; they overlap and often complement, or conflict with, each other. Congestion, for example, can be reduced at the expense of safety—unless advanced ATM systems are put in place to ensure adequate margins. Reducing noise may tend to increase operating costs, reduced emissions may degrade performance. In short, advances in one technology may help meet a number of needs or may necessitate additional advances in a complementary technology. The implication, of course, is that development of advanced technology cannot be undertaken without some thought to its application and its relationship to other development efforts. It is also important that a realistic appraisal be made of the cost of the technology versus its long- and short-term benefits. To reach the potential of each individual technology, an orchestrated approach must be used that raises the level of technology over the entire spectrum. This includes improvements in the quality of the basic components that make up current aircraft, as well as more exotic systems that will enable the development of future aircraft. Advances in aerodynamics, for example, although useful in themselves, lose some of their impact without corresponding advances in the structures, materials, and control systems that make up a complete aircraft. The issue then is, how can the United States ensure that its technology development efforts—however they might be distributed among government, universities, and industry—work together to produce advances that pass the tests of the marketplace? It is the belief of the Committee that government organizations such as NASA must not have sole responsibility for choosing which technologies should be developed to meet market demands. Those choices are best left to commercial enterprises. Commercial entities, on the other hand, should not be required to stake their continued existence, and the jobs and taxes that they produce, on their ability to develop and demonstrate high-risk technologies by themselves. Only government has the resources to assume that risk. The simplistic belief is that there exists a point along the continuum of technology development at which government involvement should end and industrial involvement should begin. Unfortunately, such a clean interface is rarely, if ever, available. More typically, government develops technology to a point at which it believes the technology is validated or

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century TABLE 1-1 Primary Benefits from Each Discipline Need Discipline Primary Benefits Lower cost/greater convenience Avionics and control More effective crew Increased reliability Cognitive engineering More effective crew/Enhanced training Structures and materials Longer life/lower maintenance Propulsion Lower fuel costs/reduced maintenance/higher reliability Aerodynamics Lower fuel costs Greater capacity Avionics and controls Global positioning (ground and air) Real-time weather alerting Optimized traffic management Cognitive engineering Optimized traffic management Reduced environmental impact Propulsion Fewer emissions Less noise Aerodynamics Less noise Greater safety Avionics and controls Lowered demands on crew Fault-tolerant systems Cognitive engineering Reduced crew fatigue Enhanced teamwork/crew interactions Optimized human/machine interactions Improved performance Propulsion Greater range and speed (reduced fuel consumption) Aerodynamics Greater range and speed (increased lift/drag ratio) Structures and materials Greater range and speed (lower weight) Avionics and controls Increased reliability

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century can no longer justify the cost, but short of what industry considers adequate validation with acceptable risk for commercial development. Thus, technology that might aid in meeting the needs of the nation is often wasted because it remains unvalidated. The Committee believes that closing this gap will prove to be a major challenge over the next several decades and that, without some mechanism by which a smooth transition of technology can be affected, the potential represented by the technologies discussed in this report will never be fully met. THE CURRENT NASA AERONAUTICS PROGRAM The current NASA program for aeronautics can be described most efficiently in terms of the funding that is applied to the various vehicle classes and technical disciplines. Tables 1-2 and 1-3 (and Appendix C) show how NASA's aeronautics research and development program was structured in 1992.5 NASA describes its program in terms of four vehicle categories: ''Subsonic aircraft,'' which includes both the advanced subsonic transport aircraft and the short-haul categories discussed in this report, as well as efforts to enhance the safety and productivity of the air traffic management system; "High-speed aircraft," which corresponds to the HSCT category in this report; "High-performance aircraft," which is strictly devoted to research into military aircraft; and "Hypersonic/transatmospheric aircraft," which is almost exclusively devoted to the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program. For purposes of clarity and consistency, Tables 1-2 and 1-3 separate the NASA "subsonic aircraft" category into two categories, advanced subsonic transport aircraft and short-haul aircraft. In addition, NASA identifies a fifth category, called "critical disciplines," that encompasses research and technology development efforts in the traditional aeronautical disciplines that are not aimed at a specific vehicle class. The critical disciplines category includes very basic scientific investigations, the applications for which have yet to be identified, as well as activities that are farther along in the development process but are deemed to have application to several vehicle classes. As seen in Table 1-2 the critical disciplines category is the single largest item in the research and development funding for aeronautics, making up approximately 35 percent of the total $574.2 million in 1992. In other words, approximately one-third of the program is devoted to non-specific research, while the remaining two-thirds is devoted to research with specific vehicle or component applications. Since generic research, such as that represented by the critical disciplines category, benefits all classes of aircraft, it is difficult to critique its level of 5   Excludes wind tunnel refurbishment ($62.8 million) and other construction of facilities funding ($22.9 million), as well as research and operations support ($210.1 million).

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century TABLE 1-2 1992 NASA Aeronautics Program Funding   1992 Research and Development Program Funding (millions of 1992 dollars, percent of total funding)a,b Category Research and Technology Basec Systems Technology Programsd Total Advanced subsonic transport aircraft 48.6 8.5% 44.9 7.8% 93.5 16.3% High-speed civil transport 6.3 1.1% 86.5 15.1% 92.8 16.2% Short-haul aircraft 23.8 4.1% 8.2 1.4% 32.0 5.6% Critical disciplinese 140.6 24.5% 62.4 10.9% 203.0 35.4% Hypersonic/transatmos. technologyf 30.2 5.3% — — 30.2 5.3% High-performance aircraftg 111.6 19.4% 11.1 1.9% 122.7 21.3% Total 361.1 62.8% 213.1 37.2% 574.2   Source: NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology. a Research and development funding only. Excludes wind tunnel refurbishment ($62.8 million) and other construction of facilities funding ($22.9 million), as well as research and operations support ($210.1 million). b Percentages are based on the total ($574.2 million). Percentages may not add to 100% due to roundoff error. c The research and technology base includes efforts in all aeronautical disciplines: aerodynamics; propulsion and power; materials and structures; controls, guidance, and human factors; systems analysis; and flight systems. d Systems technology programs are technology and validation efforts aimed at specific vehicle or component applications. e This category includes research and technology development in the traditional aeronautical disciplines that is not aimed at specific vehicle or component applications, or that applies to all vehicle classes. f This category is primarily made up of the National Aerospace Plane Program (NASP). g This category is made up of research that applies to high-performance military aircraft. NASA receives no funding from the Department of Defense for this research.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century funding or the relative mix between specific disciplines. However, it is important that NASA guard against this generic research being inadvertently skewed toward more exotic technologies that will disproportionately benefit HSCT, the National Aerospace Plane Program, or military aircraft, to the detriment of advanced subsonic transport and short-haul aircraft. Such research is very much a part of NASA's charter, but it should not be unduly influenced by the perception that subsonic flight, for example, is a "mature field," or that short-haul aircraft are less worthy of fundamental investigation than high-speed or high-performance applications. In the long run both the subsonic and short-haul aircraft will need NASA support if the United States is to remain competitive in these markets. NASA has identified two additional categories which cut across the vehicle and critical disciplines categories. The "research and technology base" includes research in the traditional aeronautical disciplines that has not reached a level at which it can be inserted into a particular component or vehicle design and test program. "Systems technology programs" encompass efforts to validate technology through actual design and test programs, but also include less advanced technology development efforts that merit very focused attention. An example of this latter case is the first phase of the High-Speed Research program (HSR-1), which at $76.4 million makes up the bulk of the HSCT category. The HSR-1 program includes very basic research into the atmospheric effects of supersonic aircraft, and investigations into reducing the effects of sonic boom, and yet was included in the systems technology programs category along with more advanced technology validation programs in military, advanced subsonic, and short-haul aircraft. Similarly, the $62.4 million that was devoted to high-performance computing and the Numerical Aerodynamics Simulation program was placed in the systems technology programs category. It is important that the systems technology programs category, which made up approximately 37 percent of the total program in 1992, not be interpreted as representing NASA's efforts in technology validation. The actual amount of effort devoted to technology validation through vehicle and component design and testing is actually much less than 37 percent of the program. Research into high-performance military aircraft was the second largest item in the 1992 research and technology budget, exceeding both advanced subsonic transport aircraft research and HSCT. It is part of the NASA charter to help maintain military aeronautics at a superior level, and so it is entirely appropriate for NASA to be engaged in this type of research even though NASA receives no funding from the Department of Defense for this program. It was not in the Committee's charter to consider either military aeronautical technologies or the relative importance of military and civilian applications, and thus no evaluation has been made of the appropriateness of this category or the technologies it encompasses. It is worth mentioning, however, that as the nation reevaluates its priorities based on recent changes in the world's political situation, NASA's military aircraft budget may be one source of additional manpower and funding to meet the economic challenges that have, in some cases, supplanted military ones. Table 1-3 shows how the 1992 research and development budget for aeronautics was distributed by discipline. The disciplines shown in Table 1-3 correspond to those discussed in Chapters 5-11 of this report, although avionics and controls (Chapter 10) and cognitive

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century TABLE 1-3 1992 NASA Aeronautics Funding by Discipline.   1992 Research and Development Funding (millions of 1992 dollars, percent of total funding)a,b Discipline Advanced subsonic transport aircraft High-speed civil transport Short-haul aircraft Critical disciplinesc Hypersonic/transatmos. technologyd High-performance aircrafte Total Aerodynamics 12.9 2.2% 2.1 0.4% 16.5 2.9% 93.6 16.3% 12.6 2.2% 33.9 5.9% 171.6 28.1% Propulsion 16.8 2.9% 19.4 3.4% 3.0 0.5% 31.4 5.5% 11.6 2.0% 29.8 5.2% 112.0 19.5% Materials and structures 28.1 4.9% 10.1 1.8% 3.3 0.6% 30.1 5.2% 3.1 0.5% 1.4 0.2% 76.1 13.3% Controls, guidance, & human factorsf 29.4 5.1% 0.7 0.1% 3.3 0.6% 25.8 4.5% 1.3 0.2% 3.9 0.7% 64.4 11.2% Systems and operationsg 2.3 0.4% 0.6 0.1% 5.9 1.0% 5.1 0.9% 1.6 0.3% 53.7 9.4% 69.2 12.1% Environmental Compatibility — — 59.9 10.4% — — — — — — — — 59.9 10.4% Otherh 4.0 0.7% — — — — 17.0 3.0% — — — — 21.0 3.7% Total 93.5 16.3% 92.8 16.2% 32.0 5.6% 203.0 35.4% 30.2 5.3% 122.7 21.4% 574.2   Source: NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology. a Research and development funding only. Excludes wind tunnel refurbishment ($62.8 million) and other construction of facilities funding ($22.9 million), as well as research and operations support ($210.1 million). b Percentages are based on the total ($574.2 million). Percentages may not add to 100% due to roundoff error. c This category includes research and technology development in the traditional aeronautical disciplines that is not aimed at specific vehicle or component applications, or that applies to all vehicle classes. d This category is primarily made up of the National Aerospace Plane Program (NASP). e This category is made up of research that applies to high performance military aircraft. NASA receives no funding from the Department of defense for this research. f This category includes the disciplines identified in this report as avionics and controls, and cognitive engineering. g The category includes both flight systems research and systems analysis studies. h The advanced subsonic transport category includes $4 million for aging aircraft, and the critical disciplines category includes $17 million for high-performance computing.

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Aeronautical Technologies for the Twenty-First Century engineering (Chapter 11) are combined in the single discipline called "controls, guidance, and human factors." While it was not within the scope of the Committee's activities to recommend specific funding levels for the various parts of the program, or for the program as a whole, it is the Committee's belief that, in general, the relative funding between disciplines is appropriate given the primary technical challenges facing aircraft designers. The one exception is the short-haul category, which is heavily weighted towards rotorcraft (Appendix C). Although the Committee recognizes that short-haul aircraft, particularly general aviation, is of somewhat lower priority than the other classes of civilian aircraft, a more balanced short-haul program could be of great benefit to U.S. industry. Within the HSCT category the funding is dominated by environmental compatibility ($59.9 million) and, to a lesser extent, by propulsion ($19.4 million) and materials and structures ($10.1 million). Given that the primary barrier to a successful HSCT is its environmental compatibility, this is appropriate. Similarly, within the advanced subsonic transport class, the funding is distributed evenly between disciplines, concentrating slightly on advanced materials and controls technologies. This also seems appropriate given the broad range of technologies that are likely to contribute to the success of future subsonic transport aircraft. As stated in several places throughout this report the Committee believes that advanced subsonic aircraft research and technology should be emphasized over other classes of aircraft. According to the information in Tables 1–2 and 1–3, this is not currently the case. One should not attribute too much importance to this funding profile—it changes from year to year as programs begin and end, and the relative mix will certainly vary to account for changing national priorities. The Committee believes that the overall NASA civil aeronautics budget should be increased to reflect the importance of the industry to the nation. Without recommending a specific magnitude of increase, it is clear that to carry out the technologies recommended in the following chapters will require both new programs and expansions of existing programs. Where possible, the Committee has pointed out instances in which NASA has existing programs that meet the identified needs. The Committee believes, however, that NASA is best qualified to define a specific funding profile that meets the needs identified in this report and that is based on budgetary realities. Such an effort should take into account the capabilities and plans of other government agencies, particularly the FAA. Identifying the source of additional funding is also outside the Committee's charter. It cannot be ignored, however, that the potential for increasing aeronautics spending is limited. Reallocation of military aeronautics spending to increase the civilian portion is one possibility, as is reallocating space research and technology funds to aeronautics. Outside the current NASA budget the prospects are just as limited, if not more so. Nonetheless, it is the opinion of the Committee that NASA technology can make a significant contribution in helping U.S. industry remain competitive in sales of aircraft, engines, and parts. How that is brought about is a matter for NASA and the policy makers within government to determine.