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Lockheed Martin won NASA contract to develop supersonic without sonic boom

Lockheed Martin has won a NASA contract to develop supersonic aircraft without creating a sonic boom. The US$247.5 million contract will allow the secret division of Skunk Works as a defense contractor to continue the development of Lockheed Martin's Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST).

"We look forward to implementing the extensive work completed under QueSST to design, build and test X-plane flights, providing NASA to make possible supersonic commercial trips for passengers around the world," said program manager Peter Iosifidis.

Tinuku Lockheed Martin won NASA contract to develop supersonic without sonic boom

Lockheed Martin will have a prototype to be tested flying by NASA by the end of 2021. The company has agreed to develop an experimental aircraft that flies 55,000 feet and speeds around 940 mph. NASA expects the new aircraft to have half the noise level.

New companies like Boom Supersonic are trying to take advantage of supersonic technology for oceanic transit routes with the support of Richard Branson and Japan Airlines, but Lockheed Martin and NASA want low-noise technology to comply with flight noise limits so far.

The new experimental aircraft was designed for supersonic passenger air travel to a route that had been abandoned by Concorde in October 2003. The new contract is a separate effort from Lockheed Martin's work with Aerion Corp to develop a supersonic business jet, the AS2, which is planned to fly by 2023.

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