An American Airlines Aeroplane
An American Airlines plane is pictured during its approach to Los Angeles International airport in Los Angeles, California February 11, 2015. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

NASA’s aeronautics scientists have developed new green technologies that US commercial airlines can use to save more than US$250 billion (AUS$350 billion).

NASA said in a statement that the new technologies have been developed and refined over the last six years under the purview of its Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project. It said that the technologies could be used to cut the use of fuel by airlines to half.

The new technologies could cut pollution by 75 percent and noise to nearly one-eighth of the current levels, reports the Economic Times.

"If these technologies start finding their way into the airline fleet, our computer models show the economic impact could amount to $255 billion in operational savings between 2025 and 2050," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research.

The project, supported by industry partners, started in 2009 and was completed in 2015. It was aimed at exploring and documenting the feasibility, benefits and technical risk of inventive vehicle concepts. The research also sought to enable technologies that would reduce aviation's impact on the environment, reports LiveMint.

The project focused on eight major integrated technology demonstrations covering three categories – airframe technology, propulsion technology and vehicle systems integration.

One of the technologies was tested using Boeing's ecoDemonstrator 757 flying laboratory, while others were tested with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney. NASA also worked with the Air Force Research Laboratory and FlexSys Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

NASA invested more than US$400 million (AUS$562 million) during the six-year research, with industry partners investing another US$250 million (AUS$350 million) in kind.

"It was challenging because we had a fixed window, a fixed budget, and all eight demonstrations needed to finish at the same time," said Fayette Collier, ERA project manager. The results had to be synthesised to complete the analysis.