RTX has been selected by Boeing as a collaborator on the X-66A flight demonstrator, part of NASA's Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project. Two RTX business units, Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace, will support Boeing with Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, and Collins nacelles and engine accessories. Pratt & Whitney and Collins will also support ground and flight tests, slated to start in 2028.
The Sustainable Flight Demonstrator is part of NASA's broader Sustainable Flight National Partnership, which is dedicated to developing the technologies needed to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions for commercial aviation. Boeing's X-66A program is focused on developing the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) concept, which could enable significant improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions for next generation single-aisle aircraft.
The GTF engine, with its revolutionary geared fan architecture, delivers industry-leading fuel efficiency and sustainability benefits for single-aisle aircraft. With up to 20% better fuel efficiency, GTF engines have helped airlines save more than 1.4 billion gallons of fuel and over 14 million metric tons of CO2 emissions since entering service in 2016. GTF engines are certified to operate with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and offer up to a 75% reduction in aircraft noise footprint compared to previous generation engines.
Collins' nacelles consist of lightweight and durable composite and metallic materials that encase the engine and serve many functions, including safeguarding the engine, controlling airflow, reducing noise and facilitating thrust reversal for deceleration during aircraft landings. In addition, Collins provides the control system components for the GTF engine, including heat exchangers, the integrated fuel pump and control, the air turbine starter and electronic controls.