Charles Chase, a program lead at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works unit, has said Lockheed and NASA expect to wrap up the evaluation phase on the preliminary design of a supersonic aircraft by June before the company and the agency begin the critical design review, FlightGlobal reported Wednesday.
Chase told the publication that NASA and Lockheed will conduct high-speed wind tunnel tests of a 9 percent model of the Quiet Supersonic Technology X-plane at the space agency's Glenn Research Center, Leigh Giangreco wrote.
The 90-foot long X-plane weighs approximately 20,000 pounds, runs on GE F414 engine and is designed to fly at 55,000 feet at a speed of Mach 1.4, Chase said.
He noted that the agency issued a request for proposals for the QueSST program's demonstrator phase and that Lockheed will compete to create the demonstrator for the initiative.
Chase added that NASA expects flight demonstrations to occur at Armstrong Flight Research Center near Edwards Air Force Base in California and plans to test the QueSST X-plane in communities to assess people's reactions to the sonic boom, the report added.
A Lockheed-led team designed the X-plane under a potential $20 million task order awarded in March 2016 through NASA's New Aviation Horizons program that aims to reduce aircraft emissions, noise and fuel consumption.