As part of its Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) programme, NASA has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to design, build and flight¬test a manned Low¬Boom Flight Demonstrator ‘X¬plane’

It will be built at the company’s ‘Skunk Works’ in Palmdale, California, and will fly in 2021. In February 2016 NASA awarded Lockheed Martin Skunk Works a contract for the preliminary design of the X¬plane flight demonstrator.

“It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X¬planes at this scale,” said Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Aeronautics.

“Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues.

“The X¬plane will help establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning commercial supersonic travel over land.”

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