Every now and then, NASA reminds us of the "little a" in the agency's name; that is, that NASA is also involved with aeronautics as well as space exploration. NASA recently held a design competition for passenger planes of the future and, not surprisingly, the proposed supersonic jets are very beautiful. The description for the above plane, the Supersonic Green Machine, is below:
This future aircraft design concept for supersonic flight over land comes from the team led by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The team used simulation tools to show it was possible to achieve over-land flight by dramatically lowering the level of sonic booms through the use of an "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration. Other revolutionary technologies help achieve range, payload and environmental goals.
The next plane is the Icon-II:
The "Icon-II" future aircraft design concept for supersonic flight over land comes from the team led by The Boeing Company.
A design that achieves fuel burn reduction and airport noise goals, it also achieves large reductions in sonic boom noise levels that will meet the target level required to make supersonic flight over land possible.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the chance to fly on either of these two babies. NASA expects that they would enter service into the global air fleet some time around 2030-2035.
To see the four other airplanes submitted for the design competition, click here.