APR 03, 2018 05:10 PM PDT

NASA Teams Up With Lockheed Martin to Design a Low-Boom X-Plane

While NASA has a reputation for its role in astronomy and space research, the agency has a lot more going on behind the scenes than one might think. One example is a long-standing ambition to produce aircraft with futuristic designs; these are more colloquially known as X-Planes.

One of NASA’s modern X-Plane concepts envisages a low-boom supersonic jet. In other words, the aircraft would surpass the speed of sound without generating the ground-rattling sonic boom that people below might find discomforting.

An artist's impression of NASA's low-boom X-Plane flying over a typical town.

Image Credit: NASA

The aircraft wouldn’t be entirely silent, but the intensity of the sound would be slashed significantly through aerodynamic hacks. Citing an official NASA statement, the sound would be as subtle as a car door closing. That said, the initiative is a push to make jets of this nature just a little bit friendlier to the general public.

Related: NASA makes progress on its low-boom aircraft design

As good as these plans might sound on paper, NASA hasn’t made them materialize yet. On the other hand, the American space agency signed a $247.5 Million deal with prominent aerospace company Lockheed Martin this week that could make it happen in as little as four years.

NASA and Lockheed Martin strive to build a sample aircraft dubbed the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD) by the year 2022. Once completed, it would fly 55,000 feet above select cities in the United States at speeds of around 940 MPH, and NASA would then poll residents below concerning the experience to discern whether the venture was successful or not.

Assuming everything goes well, then the work that goes into the LBFD could go on to influence future commercial aircraft designs, potentially transforming the commercial airliner industry for the better.

It ought to be interesting to see what Lockheed Martin comes up with as it begins work on the project.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 28, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 28, 2018
How NASA's Apollo Program Changed Spaceflight Forever
NASA’s Apollo program trekked carefully along the dangerous line separating risk from reward, and as it would seem, the American space agency may hav...
OCT 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 29, 2018
Here's How NASA Tests Martian Parachutes
NASA uses parachute systems throughout the solar system to ensure spacecraft land safely on other planetary bodies. One of the most prominent examples is M...
NOV 13, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 13, 2018
Was Pluto Once Home to Ancient Glaciers?
When NASA’s New Horizons probe conducted its historic fly-by of Pluto in 2015, the American space agency received some of the sharpest photographs de...
NOV 20, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 20, 2018
This Massive Impact Crater Was Hiding Underneath Greenland's Ice
After searching the ice-covered lands of Greenland, scientists have discovered what appears to be a massive impact crater that was previously hidden by mor...
NOV 24, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 24, 2018
More Bacteria Found on the ISS, Researchers Stress Continued Monitoring
A check of the International Space Station (ISS) has revealed several strains of Enterobacter microbes....
DEC 26, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 26, 2018
Water Detected on Variety of Different Asteroids
Earth sports a lot of water and planetary scientists still aren’t entirely sure how it all got here. To help solve this mystery, astronomers regularl...
Loading Comments...