NASA has unveiled its new X-plane concept, which it hopes will resurrect the dream of supersonic air travel which the Concorde was once used for.
NASA has previously embarked on a mission to re-invigorate supersonic air travel; a vision which largely dwindled with the decommission of the Concorde in 2003. Now, the agency’s new X-plane concept looks to resurrect a dream once thought lost.
The X-plane is concept for the first vessel to make use of what NASA has termed ‘Quiet Supersonic Technology’, which will address two of the concerns the Concorde was axed for; that, firstly, it was uneconomical, and secondly, that it was too loud. Read: NASA releases 360-degree footage of Mars
Lockheed Martin will receive over $20 million USD to develop a preliminary design, with the view of having a complete aircraft by 2019.
However, the test versions of the X-plane will only have room for one pilot, with the goal of flying at Mach 1.4 and further being inaudible while cruising at 40,000 feet.
Lockheed Martin’s preliminary design work will continue over the next 17 months. Read: New Concorde to fly London-New York in 1 hour?
The X-plane, or rather the QueSST jet, as some corners have dubbed the vessel, could very well rekindle the dream of supersonic air travel should early tests prove successful.
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