After presenting the pioneering D “double bubble” concept to the world, now the NASA supersonic research program is offering what can be envisioned as the future of flight. Hailed as the “Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) Volt concept,” this new twin-engine aircraft sports an elongated wings and electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system. This propulsion system is specially designed to cut down fuel consumption by more than 70 percent and total energy use by 55 percent

The Boeing SUGAR Volt is designed to carry 154 passengers, cruise at Mach 0.79, achieve a range of 3,500 nautical miles and have shorter takeoff distance. It is expected to run on either fuel or electricity and its wing could have hinges so that they could be folded when on the ground. This green aircraft was among the many interesting designs discussed in the World Symposium of Electric Aircraft last Friday.

Another concept put forward in the NASA research program is Icon II, which uses a split tail design to achieve supersonic flight over land with reduced fuel burn and noise. Icon II, Boeing’s second design in the program, is designed to fly at Mach 1.6 to Mach 1.8, carry 120 passengers over a range of about 5,000 nautical miles. Both these designs are made to fit in the 2030-2035 time frame.