Published On: Sun, Mar 6th, 2016

NASA to Build Supersonic Passenger Jet, Announces the Plans

The US based space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have announced that they will soon be building a supersonic passenger Jet. NASA has passed the preliminary design of a “low-boom” supersonic passenger jet that will take people to desired places with an unimaginable speed. This will be the first plane in the series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative that was introduced in the agency’s fiscal year 2017 budget.

At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, Charles Bolden, the NASA administrator said, “NASA is working hard to make flight greener, safer and quieter – all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently.”

NASA to Build Supersonic Passenger Jet

$20 million over 17 months will be given to the Aeronautics Company Lockheed Martin, for the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) preliminary design work. The subcontractors that are included in the Lockheed Martin team include GE Aviation of Cincinnati and Tri Models Inc of Huntington Beach, California. The Lockheed Martin will develop the baseline aircraft requirements and a preliminary aircraft design.

Supersonic Passenger Jet to be Build by 2020

The designing will be done with specifications by the Lockheed Martin and will provide supporting documentation for concept formulation and planning. The preliminary design of the jet will have to undergo analytical and wind tunnel validation. Charles Bolden announced, “We are continuing supersonic X-plane legacy with this preliminary design award for a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight.”

All the work of the jet will done under a task order against the Basic and Applied Aerospace Research and Technology (BAART) contract at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

After the feasibility studies, industry teams were asked to submit design concepts for a piloted test aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds by NASA. The design needed to create a supersonic ‘heartbeat’ – a soft thump instead of the disruptive boom currently associated with supersonic flight.

Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission, said, “Developing, building and flight testing a quiet supersonic X-plane is the next logical step in our path to enabling the industry’s decision to open supersonic travel for the flying public.”

The designing of the supersonic jet is great deed. The designing and building of the Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) phase of the supersonic plane project would need validation of community response to the new, quieter supersonic design. The New Aviation Horizons X-planes are going to be about half-scale of a production aircraft and likely will be piloted. It is very obvious that the design and build of the plane will take several years. The flight campaign will take place around 2020 depending on the funding and building of the supersonic jet.