NASA X-Plane Looks To The Future Of Quiet Supersonic Planes

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For the first time in decades, NASA aeronautics is moving forward with the construction of a piloted X-plane, designed from scratch to fly faster than sound with the latest in quiet supersonic technologies,by reducing the disruptive sonic boom sound associated with supersonic flight.

source/image: NASA’s Ames Research Center

The proposed aircraft will measure 28.65 meters long, have a wingspan of about 9 meters , and have a takeoff weight of 14,650 kg.Based on the company’s design, the X-plane will be powered by a single General Electric F414 engine, the same used by F/A-18E/F fighters.

source/image: NASA’s Ames Research Center

It will be flown by a single pilot and have a top speed of Mach 1.5 (1590 km; 990 mph) and a speed of Mach 1.42 (1513 km; 940 mph) at a cruising altitude of 16764 meters.

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NASA expects the new aircraft to create a sound of less than half the noise level — or more akin to the sound of a closing car door.

This new contract is a separate venture from Lockheed Martin’s work with Aerion Corp. to develop a supersonic business jet, the AS2, which has its first flight planned for 2023.

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