Lockheed Martin to Build Supersonic Jet That Quiets the Sound Barrier

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $247.5 million NASA contract to build an experimental supersonic jet designed to hush the continuous boom emitted after aircraft break the sound barrier.The new jet is expected to take to the skies in 2021, Lockheed said Tuesday.NASA is looking to foster technology that can overcome noise restrictions on supersonic flight, which has been banned overland for commercial planes since 1973. Once built, NASA plans to fly the demo model over select communities to get feedback on the impact. The ultimate goal: opening the skies to faster jet travel and spurring manufacturers to build speedier aircraft.The Concorde, the supersonic airliner that began service in 1976, was built by a French-British coalition and flown by Air France and British Airways until it was discontinued in 2003 -- in part because noise complaints limited its flights.NASA expects private business jets to be the first type of supersonic aircraft to have commercial success if the ban on overland flight is lifted. Large passenger airliners that break the sound barrier probably won't show up until after 2035, according to NASA's vision.  Continue reading...

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