What are the two of the most glaring problems in modern aircraft? Noise and carbon emissions. NASA’s Aeronautics division is working on airplanes of the future that can solve those problems and many more. Check out Rachel's King's blog from the TED+NASA event Wednesday.
This Boeing concept has a blended wing body and could be ready for production in 2020.
I'd prefer to see millions of nice, private flying cars -- traveling wherever and whenever the owners wish. Tossing away tax-victim funds on these big government, pie-in-the-sky environmentalist whacko projects must end.
Mass/volume and linear measurements scale at different rates, so trying to calculate weight variables in a wind tunnel test - which is used to check flow dynamics around the structual shape of an object, IIRC - is probably prohibitively expensive in computational terms, given any potential return. Empty vs. loaded mass (which would also include the fuel when tanks are full, and consumption rates) is more an issue for thrust (engine output) efficiency. Wind tunnel testing WRT lift can be simulated for different thrust by varying the wind speed, without regard for the mass of the vehicle.