Gone are the days of Concorde, when passengers made a transatlantic crossing in just under four hours, but supersonic commercial jets may be making a comeback. NASA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to design a low-boom supersonic passenger plane. A major complaint was that the plane made an unbearably loud noise upon take off and for the passengers on board.
NASA is leading the charge for a future were supersonic travel is again a reality, as part of their New Aviation Horizons initiative. Lockheed Martin will receive $20m for 17 months to create a preliminary design and hopeful get the plane in test phases by 2020.
A Nasa spokesperson said: “The company will develop baseline aircraft requirements and a preliminary aircraft design, with specifications, and provide supporting documentation for concept formulation and planning. This documentation would be used to prepare for the detailed design, building and testing of the QueSST jet. Performance of this preliminary design also must undergo analytical and wind tunnel validation.”