The Aircraft Energy Efficiency Program is a 10-year effort of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to accelerate the development of various aeronautical technologies which would make future transport aircraft up to 50 percent more fuel efficient than today's aircraft. The program was to be completed by the end of 1985. It is a collection of six distinct but interrelated projects, each managed separately. The program has had some successes in demonstrating technical advances applicable to existing and derivative aircraft and has moved the aircraft industry into earlier applications for realizing potentially significant fuel savings. Three of the projects will not be completed before 1987-89 because of funding constraints, the need to acquire more basic data before proceeding with the technology development, and possible adverse environmental effects of composite material. Since these three projects are crucial to the ultimate goal of improving aircraft fuel efficiency, it is difficult to predict whether the program will meet its projected fuel savings. NASA estimates of program costs total $984 million, over $300 million more than originally estimated.
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