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Is this a “tipping point” for commercial aviation? Jim Heidman, manager of NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology Project (AATT), says so. On Tuesday, NASA’s Glenn Research Center posted a video of the STARC-ABL aircraft concept, which integrates research into high-pressure-ratio compact gas turbine engines, low-emission combustors, electric-enhanced propulsion and boundary-layer ingesting (BLI) engines. The video shows the basics of how the airflow around the engines works. It is currently being considered as a candidate for one of NASA’s X-plane initiatives, exploring the hybridization of commercial aircraft.

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