NASA is investing in construction quiet supersonic aircraft

Mar

3

2016

Space Agency NASA aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin gave the order to create a design for a silent supersonic aircraft. Initially, there is designed a small ‘X-Plane “, which is to be later a larger passenger aircraft.

It is primarily an investment of $ 20 million, the equivalent of some 18.4 million euros. NASA set this amount over the next seventeen months available to a team that is led by aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The team with the money to make a preliminary design for a QueSST aircraft that uses “quiet supersonic technology. This should cause the plane to break the sound barrier without making much noise. Instead of a sonic boom aircraft must produce a supersonic ‘heartbeat’, according to the space agency.

The mission of the team is to make a preliminary design, and capture specifications and documentation. Which can then be used to create a prototype of a QueSST-plane to a low boom flight Demonstration ‘. For the actual construction of the plane by then NASA will launch a competition, so that aircraft can submit a proposal to win as the draft contract.

It will be a plane that is about half the size of an aircraft for passenger flights and ‘probable’ is controlled by a pilot. With that wording seems to leave open the space for a NASA test plane flying autonomously. The design and construction of the unit will take years; The first test flights are not expected before 2020. Whether and when it will actually be exported supersonic passenger flights in the future is not yet clear.

Between 1976 and 2003, Air France and British Airways supersonic passenger flights operated by Concorde . There only twenty copies of the plane were made, including the six prototypes which were not suitable for commercial flights. The Concorde achieved a maximum speed of Mach 2.04, or 2179km / h. The flight from London to New York could thus be made in about 3.5 hours.

airlines stopped in 2003 with the Concorde flights. Passenger numbers had declined after the crash in 2000, with an extension shortly after takeoff caught fire and all passengers died. The maintenance of the aircraft had become expensive and there was much comment on the noise that caused the supersonic flights. That problem should be solved in any case with the new design.

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