Advanced Technology for Future Regional Transport Aircraft 820731
In 1978, NASA established a Small Transport Aircraft Technology (STAT) team to study whether there are technical improvements in commuter aircraft that would likely increase their public acceptance and use, and to examine the possibility that NASA’s aeronautical research and technology program could help U.S. commuter aircraft manufacturers develop superior future commuter aircraft. The STAT team undertook a series of studies, analyses, and discussions with aircraft manufacturers, airline operators, and other government agencies. This paper presents the results of the STAT aircraft manufacturer studies. It also summarizes those portions of NASA’s overall aeronautics research and technology programs which have applicability to commuter aircraft design, and suggests areas of technology which could be expanded to aid manufacturers in the evolution of improved aircraft for this market. It is becoming more apparent that the expanding market and competitive pressures will accelerate the use of technological advances in future commuter aircraft as they become available.