We’ve heard quite a bit about NASA’s X-Plane over the years, but now it’s official, the agency has commissioned the $247.5 million project to Lockheed Martin’s top secret Skunk Works division. Just to recap, it will be able to travel at supersonic speeds, without the boom, thanks to its uniquely-shaped hull, which sends the shockwaves away from the jet and prevents them from colliding. The proposed aircraft measures 94-feet long and has a wingspan of 29.5 feet. The first delivery is set for 2021. Continue reading for another video from the press conference and more information.
The aircraft will typically cruise around speeds of 1.4 Mach, which is approximately 940 mph when traveling at 55,000 feet. “I’m trying not to use the word sonic boom. I’m trying to ban that from everyone’s vocabulary. We’ll be flying over medium-sized cities, urban towns, and rural populations. It will be representative of populations that will be exposed to these sounds,” said Peter Coen, project manager for NASA’s Commercial Supersonics Technology Project.