Lockheed Nabs $248M Contract For Quiet Supersonic Plane

A conceptual graphic of what the NASA X Plane prototype might look like

Commercial supersonic flights over land could face grounding public opposition even if a NASA project for quieter sonic booms partially succeeds, a former Concorde pilot has said. Such technology could cut coast to coast flights in half.

"It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X-planes at this scale", said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for aeronautics, NASA.

It comes after US President Donald Trump signed off a federal budget, which fully funded the X-plane.

Nasa has commissioned an aircraft capable of speeding from London to NY in three hours.

NASA has been investigating supersonic aviation for years, focusing especially on combating the impact of the sonic boom. The name for LBFD technology is Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST. "I'm trying to ban that from everyone's vocabulary".

"The idea is that there is no way to avoid a shock wave supersonically".

A rendering of the X-plane on the ground at Palmdale. Peter Coen, manager for the project at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, said the key element in Lockheed Martin's design is "a brand-new shape".

Lockheed Martin has already designed much of the sleek plane.

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For decades, supersonic flight has been possible thanks to planes that were specifically created to reach speeds that exceed that of sound.

Beginning in mid-2022, NASA will fly the X-plane over select United States cities and collect data about community responses to the flights.

The new jet is expected to take to the skies in 2021, Lockheed said on Tuesday. Once tested for safety, the plane will be ready to fly over select communities to get feedback on the impact. "It will be representative of populations that will be exposed to these sounds".

NASA has finally made a decision to create a supersonic manned aircraft with no sonic boom.

It's an idea first theorized during the 1960s and tested by NASA and others during the years since, including flying from 2003-2004 an F-5E Tiger fighter jet modified with a uniquely-shaped nose, which proved the boom-reducing theory was sound.

NASA is not the only organization looking at supersonic flight.

Currently, U.S. airliners have to travel just below the sound barrier, in order to prevent such booms.

"We had to change our flight plan in winter coming into London and in summer coming into NY, because that secondary boom was still not acceptable - it was equivalent to slamming a auto door at 50 yards away on a quiet night", said Lowe.

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