Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

NASA set to build quiet supersonic planes

NASA set to build quiet supersonic planes

This new project is part of NASA's greater Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) effort, which aims to fly a supersonic aircraft that is quiet enough to convince legislators to overturn the current regulations.

NASA has taken a huge leap forward in its quest to create an aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound without causing an ear-splitting sonic boom.

NASA and Lockheed Martin have joined forces in a bid to bring commercial supersonic air travel back to our skies.

NASA is making supersonic air travel a reality.

The work will be done at the Lockheed Martin facility in Palmdale, California and is worth $247.5 million.

Previously, commercial supersonic travel had been limited to the Atlantic Ocean, where people wouldn't be jarred awake by planes traveling overhead at more than 760 miles per hour.

Today, the agency announced their decision to award a development contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LMAC).

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Supersonic flight over land is now restricted due to noise concerns, one of several factors that reduced Concorde's appeal to commercial airlines. That data will then be turned over to USA and global regulators to be considered when making new rules on sound for supersonic flights over land.

The answer to how the X-plane's design makes a quiet sonic boom is in the way its uniquely-shaped hull generates supersonic shockwaves.

"Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues", Shin added.

NASA's goal is to not produce a sonic boom at all, but something that sounds more like a soft thud. Lockheed in December also agreed to help Aerion build its supersonic jet.

The low-boom flight demonstrator research programme has two goals: to design and build the aircraft, which although large-scale would still be smaller than any aircraft that went into service; and to fly it over selected United States communities to gather data on human responses to the sonic thump. "This X-plane is a critical step closer to that exciting future".

The LBFD aircraft will be 94 feet (29 meters) long, or about the size of a small business jet.

The sound level these folks are going for is 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB). Gulfstream, a unit of General Dynamics, has said it won't attempt to build a supersonic aircraft until it's cleared to fly open-throttle over land and sea.

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