Now this is (kinda) what I'm looking for from NASA

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Space Commander
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#1 Now this is (kinda) what I'm looking for from NASA

Post by Commander »

Always in the future, let's just pray it's the near future.
NASA QueSST.jpg (73.56 KiB) Viewed 1378 times
NASA has achieved a significant milestone in its effort to make supersonic passenger jet travel over land a real possibility by completing the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.

Senior experts and engineers from across the agency and the Lockheed Martin Corporation concluded Friday that the QueSST design is capable of fulfilling the LBFD aircraft’s mission objectives, which are to fly at supersonic speeds, but create a soft “thump” instead of the disruptive sonic boom associated with supersonic flight today. The LBFD X-plane will be flown over communities to collect data necessary for regulators to enable supersonic flight over land in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

NASA partnered with lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, in February 2016 for the QueSST preliminary design. Last month, a scale model of the QueSST design completed testing in the 8-by 6-foot supersonic wind tunnel at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

"Managing a project like this is all about moving from one milestone to the next,” said David Richwine, manager for the preliminary design effort under NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project. “Our strong partnership with Lockheed Martin helped get us to this point. We’re now one step closer to building an actual X-plane.”

After the success of completing the PDR, NASA’s project team can start the process of soliciting proposals later this year and awarding a contract early next year to build the piloted, single-engine X-plane. The acquisition for the LBFD X-plane contract will be fully open and competitive, with the QueSST preliminary design data being made available to qualified bidders. Flight testing of an LBFD X-plane could begin as early as 2021.

Over the next few months, NASA will work with Lockheed on finalizing the QueSST preliminary design effort. This includes a static inlet performance test and a low-speed wind tunnel test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

For more information about QueSST and LBFD, visit:

For more information about NASA’s aeronautics work, visit:

Of course this is just a single seater, which means it will be another ten to twenty years before the technology gets applied to a private sector craft and then another decade or so in developement... meaning probably not in my life time.

But at least NASA is doing well in one area.

Their graphic arts people sure put out some nice eye candy. :!:
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Joe Wooten
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#2 Re: Now this is (kinda) what I'm looking for from NASA

Post by Joe Wooten »

Unless the FAA authorizes supersonic flights over the continental US, it will work only for overseas flights, and will always be the province of the really well-heeled traveler. Supersonic flight sucks huge amounts of fuel, and there is no getting around it. Drag forces go almost straight up as you pass mach 1, and then start decreasing going back to the original coefficient as you get to about mach 5 where you start to enter hypersonic flight regimes. The current materials tech cannot build a manned airplane operating in that region yet, unless the Air Force has something in Area 51. Passenger flights would be limited to a maximum of Mach 2, and as you can see from the plot below, drage forces are higher than subsonic flight, over double in fact. This will cause fuel consumption to skyrocket and make tickets very expensive.


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