Lockheed Martin wins NASA Contract worth almost $250 Million

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ X-plane design will cruise at 55,000 feet Mach 1.4 and will generate a gentle supersonic heartbeat instead of a sonic boom

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ X-plane design will cruise at 55,000 feet Mach 1.4 and will generate a gentle supersonic heartbeat instead of a sonic boom

Once complete and ready for flight in 2021, the space agency says the plane will cruise at an altitude of 55,000 feet at 940 miles per hour, and that its top speed will be a projected 990 miles per hour with one pilot in the cockpit.

According to NASA, the X-plane's uniquely-shaped structure will reduce the intensity of the sonic booms it creates.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and Nasa have partnered for more than a decade to enable the next generation of commercial supersonic aircraft. But with an innovative plane design that might subtly morph in the air to tame sound waves, NASA hopes to build a quieter supersonic plane that would revolutionize travel. 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.

NASA and Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works are teaming up to create the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an experimental aircraft that aims to usher in the era of commercial supersonic flight.

Next you'll see a video that shows commercial supersonic flight in the past and in-effect here with NASA in the present. Peter Coen, manager for the project at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, said the key element in Lockheed Martin's design is "a brand-new shape".

"It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X-planes at this scale", Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics, said in a news release.

They're working to make a supersonic flight over land possible. 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. The rest of the airplane is "off-the-shelf" technology, he said, and will require no new development. It will fly at an altitude of 55,000 feet, cruising at 1,560 km/h.

Lockheed had helped Nasa build a small prototype of the quieter new supersonic plane that was tested in a wind tunnel. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues", said Shin.

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

Last summer, NASA researchers used the range over Cape Canaveral to conduct sonic boom testing, much to the dismay of local residents who sometimes heard up to 11 sonic booms a day.

Do not anticipate to board a supersonic traveler jet anytime quickly; Lockheed Martin's LBFD will not be constructed for transferring individuals.

It will create a sound about as loud as a auto door closing - 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB) - significantly lower than the 105 PLdB of the earlier Concorde airliner.

Shin added that the LBFD will fly over select United States cities starting in mid-2022 and NASA will "ask the people living and working in those communities to tell us what they heard, if anything".

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