Science Art: Hybrid Wing Body, NASA, 2013

scientific illustration of a blended wing aircraft, or hybrid wing body, a jet concept tested by NASA

scientific illustration of a blended wing aircraft, or hybrid wing body, a jet concept tested by NASAClick to embiggen

NASA, for a while, was looking at different ways an aircraft’s body could be used to generate lift, rather than having wings sort of stuck on the fuselage after the fact. These “blended wing aircraft” or “hybrid wing body” planes should be more efficient and quieter.

From NASA’s page on this image:

This NASA concept, called the “N3-X,” uses a number of superconducting electric motors to drive the distributed fans to lower the fuel burn, emissions, and noise. The power to drive these electric fans is generated by two wing-tip mounted gas-turbine-driven superconducting electric generators.