Project 43 - Policy Analysis: Mission Specifications

Future reductions of fuel burn and green house gas emissions from commercial aviation will be, in large part, achieved through the development and use of more fuel- and environmentally-efficient aircraft. Achieving significant efficiency improvements at the aircraft level may require opening up the design space so as to consider changes in aircraft design mission specifications/capabilities such as lower cruise speed, different payload-range characteristics, and longer wing span. However, there are potentially serious and unforeseen system-wide implications (economics, viability, delays, manufacturability, etc.) that could result from these changes and that have not yet been quantified properly. The main objective of this project is to understand and quantify these implications so that informed decisions can be made. To accomplish these goals, one needs to first assess the full potential of these changes for fuel efficiency improvements at the individual aircraft level. More importantly, specific approaches to be followed (and their combinations) need to be prioritized to focus on those that provide the largest potential benefit in combination with what could be achieved by technology improvements alone. Second, there is a lack of understanding of how aircraft with such changes in mission specifications could impact both airlines' operations/economics and the ability of manufacturers to produce multiple models at reasonable costs. These assessments can be performed through parametric analysis of airline and manufacturer economics and result in a cost abatement evaluation of both individual aircraft mission specifications changes and their combinations. This understanding will allow the propagation of aircraft-level improvements to the fleet level in order to assess system-wide benefits. Finally, the potential aircraft mission specification changes may have operational implications at the local and National Airspace System level. Understanding these operational implications will be critical to assessing whether the current NextGen concepts of operations and future capabilities (i.e., in the 2020-2030 time frame) will permit, enable, or impede the introduction of these new vehicles into the NAS. Collaborations with Project 30 are expected.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $1039914.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Hileman, James

    Maurice, Lourdes

  • Performing Organizations:

    Stanford University

    450 Serra Mall
    Stanford, CA  United States  94305

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139

    Georgia Tech University, Cambridge

    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Principal Investigators:

    Waitz, Ian

    Reherman, Clay

  • Start Date: 20120512
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 30595

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572633
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: FAAWA-11-V-00053, 10799021
  • Files: RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 11 2015 1:00AM