NASA awarded three contracts this fall for designs of aircraft that will be flying in 2025 to Boeing, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Each one has to be less noisy, more fuel efficient and have cleaner exhaust than planes flying now.
Other specifications by NASA are that they should “fly up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo.”
Here are the three concept designs as well as some from April and earlier. Not all of them will make it beyond the design stage and some may have already been scrapped, while others could be very close to being seen on our runways in the future.
Image: NASA/The Boeing Company
10. An Iconic Idea
The Icon-II is a design for supersonic flight over land that comes from Boeing. Apart from fulfilling the specifications, it also reduces fuel consumption and airport noise.