This is what the NASA supersonic airliner may look like in 2020. The US space agency has just awarded twenty million dollars to the aerospace manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, to undertake feasibility studies on the design of a supersonic aircraft, greener and quieter, than Concorde.
In order to reduce the sonic boom when going through the sound barrier,NASA might have a very sharp-nosed plane in mind, but we'll have to wait until the summer of 2017, to find out, when Lockheed Martin is due to report back.
What is certain is that the race is on again for supersonic commercial aircraft, or rather supersonic jets, because unlike the one hundred-seater Concorde, all present day projects have cabin configurations of only ten seats or so, as in the HyperMach SonicStar or Spike Aerospace S-512.
The most advanced project is probably the AS2 from Airbus Group’s American company partner, Aerion, whose twelve-seater supersonic jet could be flying with passengers at 1,100 mph (1,800 km/h) from 2023.