The miracle of flight has grown stale. Our great grandparents may have been impressed by the ability to travel from New York to Los Angeles in five hours, but today, we’re less than excited to spend that much time cramped in a 737.
Lockheed Martin is now working on an aircraft for commercial airlines that would make that trip much shorter.
The N+2 jet would cut the time spent traveling across the United States in half, from five hours to two and a half, and would seat 80 passengers.
One challenge the Lockheed Martin engineers are facing is building a craft that can travel at supersonic speeds but not make sonic booms, which are created by objects traveling faster than 760 miles per hour, the speed of sound. The N+2 has one engine on the topside of the craft, and two under the wings, in a configuration designed to reduce noise.
“To achieve revolutionary reductions in supersonic transportation airport noise, a totally new kind of propulsion system is being developed,” Michael Buonanno, Lockheed Martin’s manager of the NASA N+2 program, told the Daily Mail. “We are also exploring new techniques for low noise jet exhaust, integrated fan noise suppression, airframe noise suppression and computer customized airport noise abatement.”.. see more