NASA has announced the launch of the “New Aviation Horizons” initiative, which will lead to a new generation of X-planes that are fueled by greener energy, use half the fuel, and are half as loud as commercial aircraft in use today.
A 10-year initiative, New Aviation Horizons is a reminder of the importance of the first “A” in NASA. Through a series of research and development investments, NASA hopes to identify new technologies that can push the commercial aviation industry forward.
NASA stated that “design-and-build will take several years with aircraft starting their flight campaign around 2020, depending on funding.”
The first contract of the initiative, awarded to a team at Lockheed Martin in February, begins work to design a quieter supersonic passenger jet. Through the 17-month $20 million award, the team is required to complete a preliminary design for Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST).