Monday, 16 July, 2018

NASA officials today announced the agency's plans for X-plane

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ X-plane design will cruise at 55,000 feet Mach 1.4 and will generate a gentle supersonic heartbeat instead of a sonic boom NASA orders a supersonic X-Plane, easy on the boom
Scott Davis | 05 April, 2018, 01:39

"NASA's development of quiet supersonic flight technology needs support, interest and engagement from the community to ensure that the potential sound is acceptable to those on the ground", said Peter Coen, NASA's Commercial Supersonic Technology project manager, ahead of the August 2017 tests at Kennedy Space Center.

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $247.5 million NASA contract to build a quieter supersonic jet, a step toward developing planes that can whisk passengers around the globe much more quickly.

The plane will be 94-feet-long, smaller than today's medium-sized commercial aircraft, like the popular Boeing 737.It will typically cruise around speeds of 1.4 Mach, which is approximately 940 miles per hour when traveling at 55,000 feet, according to a NASA spokesperson.

At that speed, NASA wants the aircraft to make a sonic boom that is about as loud as a door being closed.

While NASA is working to lower the sonic boom, other business are dealing with their own supersonic airplane styles- all which will still develop sonic booms throughout flight.

NASA and Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works are teaming up to create the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an experimental aircraft that aims to usher in the era of commercial supersonic flight.

The proposed plane, based on a preliminary design developed by Lockheed Martin, will be 29 meters long with a wingspan of 9 meters and a fully-fueled take-off weight of 15,000 kilograms.




"We're all pretty excited", said Jim Less, a primary NASA pilots who will fly the X-plane after Lockheed Martin's pilots have completed initial test flights.

They hope to use this data to change the rule that prohibits civil supersonic flights over land.

After the plane undergoes flight testing at Edwards, NASA will then begin "community response" tests at both the base and in up to six US cities, slated for completion by 2025. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues".

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With any luck, we may see the next generation of supersonic commercial aircraft flying passengers and cargo all over the continental United States shortly after 2021.

But passengers will not be able to board the supersonic jet just yet.

The agreement is part of a project called QueSST (quiet supersonic technology), which aims to tiresome the volume of a sonic boom to about the level of the auto door closing. This plane needs to cruise at an altitude of 55,000 feet (commercial jets cruise between 33,000 and 42,000 feet) and reach a speed of over 1,512 kmph (commercial jets cruise between 878 and 926 kmph).

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