Accessibility Links

Boeing spreads its wings with new transonic concept

Like postLikeLabel * DEFAULT * en-GB


When the Concorde was retired from service in October 2003, you may have assumed that the era of commercial supersonic air travel was over. That we’d taken a step backwards technologically. It seems American aviation manufacturer Boeing didn’t want this to be case, and has been working on a Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW), which could bring those heady days of high-speed travel back.
Designed to be more aerodynamic and fuel efficient, Boeing is studying the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept through a collaboration with NASA.
(Designed to be more aerodynamic and fuel efficient, Boeing is studying the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept through a collaboration with NASA as part of the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research program. Image via Boeing Creative Services).

The new wing concept will allow larger passenger planes to fly at higher altitudes while nearly scraping the speed of sound (Mach 0.80) according to Boeing’s research team.

Visually, the TTBW wings are very different from anything you’re likely to encounter at any of today’s airports across the globe. From end-to-end, the folding wings measure 170 feet. The high wingspan is made possible by the presence of a truss, which supports the extended length of the ultra-thin wing, and which also gives the aircraft it’s striking aesthetic stance.

Whilst the original TTBW concept was designed to fly at slightly slower speeds (Mach 0.70 – 0.75), Boeing have refined the design, adjusting the wing sweep angle so that the truss can carry lift more efficiently. The end result is a more integrated design that significantly improves aircraft performance.

The performance of the TTBW concept pales in comparison the Concorde’s mighty top speed of Mach 2.04 (approximately 1,350 mph), but it is nevertheless a great leap forward for commercial passenger jet performance. Ultimately, Boeing hope that the TTBW concept will make long-haul flights feel more like medium-haul flights as the wings propel the aircraft higher and faster than before.

Speed and altitude are not the only concerns of Boeing’s engineers. The new TTBW concept is also expected to significantly improve fuel efficiency thanks to reduced drag. With air travel being a major contributor to carbon emissions (since 1990, CO2 emissions from international aviation have increased 83 per cent), implementing such fuel saving innovations is likely to rise up the agendas of airline operators. This aspect of the TTBW concept was developed with support from NASA as part of the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program.

So, will we see the return of supersonic commercial air travel? Not quite, but if the TTBW becomes more than a concept expect your long-haul flights to feel a whole lot quicker!

Are you looking for engineering and technical professionals to work on your latest project?

Then speak to Fircroft. For close to half-a-century we’ve been offering recruitment and workforce solutions to the world’s leading engineering and technical companies. Explore our range of services and contact us now for a free consultation about your requirements.
Tags: Engineering
Recent Comments
hello dear I think so very secret point is in jet turbine turbulence I find it! if you want more knowledge about it you can contact me by email.
Ali, 12 January 2019
I think this is a great breakthrough for the industry and hope to try the 4th flight of its nature when its released to the world. The design looks great and the speed should reflect that, with speeds of up to mach 2.04 I cant wait to get that stomach churning feeling. Id love to be strapped to the wings in my birthday suit and do some gurning.
Simon Johnson, 13 January 2019
Add new comment
By commenting on this blog you're agreeing to our terms of use

Comments left should relate to the subject of the above blog. Unfortunately job applications cannot be accepted here.

For job enquiries and applications please use our job search and for technical or account queries please contact us.
Boeing spreads its wings with new transonic concept - Time to read 3 min
Share this article
Like postLikeLabel * DEFAULT * en-GB


Back to Top

By clicking "Save" you consent to
receiving matching jobs based on the
job/page you are viewing by email from
Fircroft, as detailed in our privacy policy
Fircroft would like to keep you up to date with our current vacancies and latest company updates via email. Occasionally Fircrofts marketing may contain 3rd party or affiliate information, however we will not share your personal data with any 3rd parties without your consent. From time to time, we might contact you to get your views on the service you have received. To help you get the best out of Fircroft, we may personalise them based on your location and how you use
Fircroft would like to keep you up to date with the latest company updates and vacancies via SMS / Text messages
Your consent options above means that Fircroft cannot contact you about any new or alternative career vacancies. If you want Fircroft to only contact you about the role(s) you have applied for please continue, however if you would like to be considered for other positions please allow us to contact you by changing one or more of the above consent.