Program Overview

The D8 is a commercial aircraft concept that enables substantial efficiency improvements within the next decade. We have rethought and reconfigured every aspect of the air vehicle to maximize efficiency, minimize operating costs, and improve the passenger experience.

The efficiency gains of the D8 are the result of a tightly integrated design approach. Increased lift generated by the wide “double-bubble” fuselage means smaller wings are needed to carry the vehicle’s weight, resulting in less fuel to fly a given mission. When the engines are integrated into the back of the fuselage, thrust requirements are further reduced due to efficiencies from Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI). This means that smaller engines can be used, which reduces weight and fuel even further. This cycle of repeated optimization is what gives the D8 such groundbreaking efficiency.


In 2008, Aurora Flight Sciences, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Pratt & Whitney began an effort sponsored under NASA’s N+3 program to revolutionize how aircraft of the future will be designed. The result was a new aircraft configuration, known as the D8, which is capable of achieving significant reductions in community noise, emissions, and fuel burn. The D8 configuration has the potential of achieving a 71% reduction in fuel burn, a 60 EPNdB reduction in noise, and an 87% reduction in LTO NOx – all relative to current narrow-body aircraft in operation.

  • Increased Fuel Efficiency
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Less Community Noise
  • Greater Airport Compatibility
  • Faster Boarding and Deplaning
  • Higher Efficiency, Even at Transonic Cruise Speeds
  • Improved Passenger Experience
  • Multidisciplinary Team and Tools
  • Lightweight Composites
  • Propulsion-Airframe Integration


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