Researchers at NASA have demonstrated a manufacturing method that would make "hybrid wing" design practical. Combined with an extremely efficient type of engine, called an ultra-high bypass ratio engine, the hybrid wing design could use half as much fuel as conventional aircraft. Although it may take 20 years for the technology to come to market, the manufacturing method developed at NASA could help improve conventional commercial aircraft within the next eight to 10 years. NASA is now developing a 30-foot-wide, two-level pressurized structure that will be used in an attempt to validate the manufacturing approach that is expected to be completed in 2015. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (MIT Technology Review)