NASA aims to build a supersonic aircraft that can generateÂ a thump-like sound rather than a boom and begin flight tests of that technology by 2020.
The agency said FridayÂ itÂ also seeks to demonstrate what it calls a “three-legged stool” of aviation researchÂ through theÂ Quiet Supersonic TransportÂ X-planeÂ development project.
An industry team led by Lockheed Martin was awarded the preliminary QueSST design contract in late February as part of NASA’sÂ New Aviation HorizonsÂ initiative.
NASA launched the program to create and fly multipleÂ X-planes over the next decadeÂ in a move to help aviation companiesÂ accelerate their adoption of greenÂ technologies.
“If we can build some of these X-planes and demonstrate some of these technologies, we expect that will make it much easier and faster for U.S. industry to pick them up and roll them out into the marketplace,” notedÂ Ed Waggoner, integrated aviation systems program director at NASA.
The agency also seeks to provideÂ QueSST flight dataÂ toÂ the Federal Aviation Administration and its foreign counterpartsÂ so they can use the information to establish noise-related policiesÂ for commercial supersonic airliners.