JetZero aims to introduce a blended-wing jet with 50% increased efficiency by 2030

The BWB platform being developed by JetZero can support a jetliner, military tanker, and freighter.
Jijo Malayil
JetZero's blended-wing jet
JetZero's blended-wing jet


A revolutionary blended-wing body (BWB) aircraft with 50 percent more efficiency was the promise put forward by California-based startup, JetZero. The company, working in partnership with the United States Air Force, NASA, and FAA, has revealed its design and aim to put the aircraft in the air by 2030. 

According to the firm, traditional tube-and-wing planes have hit a wall regarding efficiency gains. Furthermore, a steep increase in the price of aviation fuel warrants an airframe that cuts fuel burn and emissions in half, a perfect remedy for sustainable aviation. 

JetZero has created designs for its blended-wing architecture for freighters, military tankers, and commercial jetliners. Since launch, a 100 percent SAF compatibility and the flexibility to hold zero-carbon emissions hydrogen is also available. 

"Airlines have always sought more efficient jets. And now that climate impact is a global concern, jets with low carbon emissions - and even zero emissions - are inevitable. Our mission is to accelerate that change," reads the company's website

The aircraft will launch in 2030 with 100 percent SAF compatibility and the internal volume to accommodate zero-carbon emissions hydrogen. 

BWB architecture offers significant advantages

The BWB concept has been around since the late 1980s but failed to gain traction despite the design showing promising results. Decades later, things are changing in its favor, with the aviation industry looking for more sustainable options in the wake of accelerating its net-zero commitments. The U.S. Airforce's quest for an advanced tanker transport solution has also furthered the cause of JetZero, and the firm plans to get out of stealth mode by developing a 1/8th-scale model, which is being readied for a test flight later this year. 

Talking of the advantages of BWB aircraft, as the design combines the airframe structure and aerodynamics, it allows the aircraft to shed weight and drag while using the fuselage to generate the necessary lift. The airframe helps to cut fuel burn and emissions in half, offering an ideal solution to promote sustainable aviation. 

The configuration also allows such aircraft to be tailless and features significantly less cabin noise as the engines are mounted on top. The BWB design also offers the opportunity to move past the space constraints of tube-and-wing aircraft with a unique cabin layout that provides more aisles and increased bin space.

A platform that supports multiple iterations

JetZero is aiming that its involvement with the U.S. Airforce for a tanker will help the development of a versatile platform that can be modified for commercial use. The firm is already in talks with commercial airlines and freight companies to offer an iteration that helps them to offer more sustainable solutions. "The U.S. Air Force has also laid out its climate impact goals and has supported our development of a commercial jet with the capability to provide a military variant as a tanker or freighter."

The firm is in the race to secure a $245 million Air Force BWB demonstration program, which involves developing a full-scale demonstrator aircraft for testing its airworthiness. A deal will help the firm to make its BWB design a reality by 2030.

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