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For the past decade, the two companies have been working together to develop the next generation of commercial supersonic aircraft.

NASA said it would conduct its own tests on aircraft, which will fly at approximately 940 miles per hour at a height of 55,000 feet, upon Lockheed's completion of the plane.

This week NASA awarded a almost quater-billion-dollar contract to Lockheed Martin this week to build a quiet supersonic experimental aircraft. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, Calif., won the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration contract, a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract valued at $247.5 million.

While NASA's interests aren't necessarily towards decreasing flight times for the average traveler (at least at his point in time) it's true that a successful supersonic X-plane would open up new options for travel that were previously inaccessible due to the incredibly loud sonic boom experienced when an aircraft breaks the speed of sound.

Next you'll see a video that shows commercial supersonic flight in the past and in-effect here with NASA in the present.

The proposed plane, based on a preliminary design developed by Lockheed Martin, will be 29 meters long with a wingspan of 9 meters and a fully-fueled take-off weight of 15,000 kilograms.


Today, civilian supersonic flights over land are banned. That data will then be turned over to US and worldwide regulators to be considered when making new rules on sound for supersonic flights over land.

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

It's an idea first theorized during the 1960s and tested by NASA and others during the years since, including flying from 2003-2004 an F-5E Tiger fighter jet modified with a uniquely-shaped nose, which proved the boom-reducing theory was sound.

NASA has broken the mission down into multiple phases with a design review of the low-boom X-plane set for 2019 before final construction, construction to be completed in 2021 and NASA to test the X-plane in 2022.

After the plane undergoes flight testing at Edwards, NASA will then begin "community response" tests at both the base and in up to six USA cities, slated for completion by 2025. A big problem with supersonic flight was that the sonic boom made it too loud to fly over populated areas.

As per the contract, LMAC will have to complete designing and also build an experimental jet called the X-plane.


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