Supporting NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) and the Fundamental Aeronautics Program, this project's technologies directly address requirements for materials and structures technologies contributing towards aircraft aerodynamic efficiency. These requirements fall within NASA's strategic goals to reduce the impact of aircraft on the environment. The MBT offers the potential for significant fuel savings and reduced emissions for commercial and DoD aircraft operating in both subsonic and supersonic flight regimes.
This project's technologies, developed for NASA systems, would directly apply to systems operated by other government and commercial enterprises. Government systems that would derive the same benefits would include aircraft operated by the Air Force. Initially, implementation into transport aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and tanker aircraft will provide the Air Force with the greatest opportunity for fuel savings, as these systems consume the majority of the fuel used by the Air Force. In addition, implementation would be the most similar on these aircraft as integration on commercial aircraft. The technology could also be used on future tactical, bomber, and reconnaissance platforms to extend range or increase payload weight fraction. This technology's attributes for reduced aircraft fuel consumption through turbulent skin friction drag reduction should yield a high potential for private sector commercialization for passenger and cargo aircraft. In addition, the MBT may apply to wind turbines, automobiles, and marine vehicles to improve energy efficiency.