NASA’s X-plane Supersonic Passenger Demonstrator to Fly in 2021

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:52 AM, April 4, 2018
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NASA’s X-plane Supersonic Passenger Demonstrator to Fly in 2021
X-plane concept (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an X-plane designed to make supersonic passenger air travel a reality will conduct its first flight in 2021.

NASA has awarded Lockheed Martin Skunk Works a contract to design, build and flight test the demonstrator. The aircraft will be built at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, Lockheed Martin said in a statement Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works will build a full-scale experimental aircraft, known as an X-plane, of its preliminary design developed under NASA's Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) effort. The X-plane will help NASA establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning commercial supersonic travel over land.

"It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X-planes at this scale," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues."

"We're honored to continue our partnership with NASA to enable a new generation of supersonic travel," said Peter Iosifidis, Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator program manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "We look forward to applying the work completed under QueSST to the design, build and flight test of the X-plane, providing NASA with a demonstrator to make supersonic commercial travel possible for passengers around the globe."

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