Boeing unveil improved Truss Wing airliner concept

Air travel has been provided with a glimpse into the future as Boeing unveiled radical new designs for "transonic" travel - and it looks like we are returning to bi-planes for faster flight. When the plane is flying at Mach 0.80, the new type of wing would provide an unprecedented degree of aerodynamic efficiency, the company said in an announcement today.

Plans christened as the "Transonic Truss-Braced Wing" boast an extended span of 52 metres.

The original TTBW concept was designed for lower airspeeds of Mach 0.70 to 0.75, but this latest concept features a mild sweep which allows for higher airspeeds.

Boeing has developed the wing in partnership with NASA over the course of almost a decade. The space agency and private aerospace company have been working together on the transonic concept for nearly a decade under a program called Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research. Boeing says the new concept is "a more integrated design that significantly improved vehicle performance".

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The BBJ 777X has an operating range of 21,570 km - putting Auckland within easy reach of non-stop flights to London or Paris.

Depending on which routes the jets are used on, the new models mean Boeing could wrestle the crown for farthest nonstop travel away from Airbus.

Boeing's latest TTBW concept. Engines have also now been added.

It has hinged wingtips measuring 12 feet, with locking pins to prevent them from folding during flight, and the longest aircraft body and widest wingspan ever produced by Boeing, at 252 feet and 235 feet, 5 inches, respectively.

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