Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

NASA unveils experimental aircraft, hopes to usher in new technology

NASA unveils experimental aircraft, hopes to usher in new technology NASA unveils experimental aircraft, hopes to usher in new technology
Jodi Jackson | 05 April, 2018, 01:43

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.

"The answer to how the X-plane's design makes a quiet sonic boom is in the way its uniquely-shaped hull generates supersonic shockwaves", NASA reports in the release.

This week NASA awarded a almost quater-billion-dollar contract to Lockheed Martin this week to build a quiet supersonic experimental aircraft.

This week we're getting an idea of what it'll be like to travel at supersonic speeds thanks to NASA's newest initiative. This contract will have Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California work with a $247.5 million Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator contract which will remain in effect through December of 2021.

"This piloted X-plane would be built specifically to fly technologies that reduce the loudness of a sonic boom to that of a gentle thump", Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, said during a news conference today. The last commercial supersonic aircraft was the Concorde, which operated from 1976 to 2003. The company created a preliminary design under a previous contract.

NASA will still have to get through quite a bit of red tape now preventing supersonic flights from taking place over land.

Shin included that the LBFD will fly over choose USA cities beginning in mid-2022 and NASA will "ask individuals living and operating in those neighborhoods to inform us exactly what they heard, if anything". The plane's first flight is set for 2021.

Brandon says because of the loud noise supersonic aircraft are been barred from flying across the land.

The Federal Aviation Administration has had a long-standing ban on supersonic flight by commercial aircraft over land. NASA uses this imagery to study shockwaves and learn how to make sonic booms quieter.

But passengers will not be able to board the supersonic jet just yet.

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

The LBFD aircraft will be 94 feet (29 meters) long, or about the size of a small business jet. Lockheed's plane will travel at 1500km/h and produce around 75 perceived decibels at ground level.

At a cruising altitude of 16.7km, the X-plane could fly at Mach 1.42, or 1,753km/h.

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