NASA officials today announced the agency's plans for X-plane

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NASA said Tuesday it had awarded a $247.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin develop, build and test a supersonic aircraft created to be quiet enough to fly over cities.

NASA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to build what's being called the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator aircraft.

NASA is hoping that this X-plane will help establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning commercial supersonic travel over land.

In his budget proposal, the Republican leader said the plane would "open a new market for USA companies to build faster commercial airliners, creating jobs and cutting cross-country flight times in half".

The 94-foot long plane is expected to start test flights in 2021 and fly at a cruising altitude of 55,000ft at Mach 1.42, or 940mph (1512kmh), with a top speed of Mach 1.5.

The $247.5 million contract allows for the design, building and testing of a plane that would make its first test flight in 2021, Nasa said.

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Researchers from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center and Langley Research Center in Virginia conducted the tests as part of the Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence flights program, or SonicBAT. No supersonic commercial aircraft has been in service since British Airways and Air France halted Concorde flights in 2003. We already have around 4 years to wait until we see the supersonic X-plane take to the skies, and the costs of the plane are likely to be astronomical.

The X plane's sound will be as light as that of a vehicle door closing.

In mid-2022, X-Plane might fly over few USA cities to collect community responses to the flights. NASA has awarded a new contract to Lockheed Martin, as the company works to deliver the kind of comfortable, efficient, and safe supersonic travel that will likely become the next step in air travel. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues".

In conventional aircraft, the shockwaves coalesce as they expand away from the aircraft's nose and tail, resulting in two distinct and thunderous sonic booms. "Trump has stated that the supersonic X-Plane would open a new market for US companies to build faster commercial airliners, creating jobs and cutting cross-country flight times in half".

Here's what you need to know about the super quiet, supersonic jet.

NASA wants to bring back supersonic flights for civilian passengers, and has roped in Lockheed Martin to build a demonstrator.