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Air Vehicle Technology


This focus area includes tools and technologies that contribute to both the Advanced Air Vehicles Program (AAVP) and the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP) encompassing technologies in all six Strategic Thrusts within the NASA Aeronautics Mission Directorate (ARMD). AAVP develops the tools, technologies, and concepts that enable new generations of civil aircraft that are safer, more energy-efficient, and have a smaller environmental footprint. The program focuses on enabling major leaps in the safety, efficiency, and environmental performance of subsonic fixed and rotary wing aircraft to meet challenging and growing long-term civil aviation needs; pioneering low-boom supersonic flight to achieve new levels of global mobility, and advancing fundamental hypersonic research while sustaining hypersonic competency for national needs. In collaboration with academia, industry, and other Government agencies (e.g., FAA), AAVP pioneers fundamental research and matures the most promising technologies and concepts for transition to system application by the aviation industry. The program works with the DoD to ensure that NASA and DoD vehicle-focused research is fully coordinated and leveraged. TACP cultivates multi-disciplinary, revolutionary concepts to enable aviation transformation and harnesses convergence in aeronautics and non-aeronautics technologies to create new opportunities in aviation. The program’s goal is to demonstrate the initial feasibility of internally and externally originated concepts to support the discovery and initial development of new, transformative solutions for all six ARMD Strategic Thrusts. The program provides flexibility for innovators to explore technology feasibility and provide the knowledge base for transformational aviation concepts through sharply focused activities. The program solicits and encourages revolutionary concepts, creates the environment for researchers to become immersed in new ideas, performs ground and small-scale flight tests, allows failures and learns from them, and drives rapid turnover into new concepts. The program also supports research and development of major advancements in cross-cutting computational tools, methods, and single-discipline technologies to advance the research capabilities of all aeronautics programs.

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