The 225-foot long quiet supersonic technology airliner would accommodate up to 40 passengers and have a 22-meter wingspan flying between 50K feet and 60K feet. It would also draw on a noise-reduction capability Lockheed is testing with NASA's X-59 supersonic demonstrator aircraft.
Michael Buonanno, lead engineer on the X-59 program at Lockheed, said the company wants its QSTA concept to reduce air pollution while flying at a high altitude. “Once you go above that altitude the impact of the airplane emissions increases,“ he noted.
“That demand is absolutely there,” Buonanno said of supersonic passenger planes. “The reason this capability doesn't exist is some uncertainty about what future regulations [will] look like.”
Other companies developing supersonic commercial aircraft are Boom Supersonic, Spike Aerospace and Aerion Supersonic, according to the report.