NASA’s over-land, supersonic, passenger-carrying X-plane project has taken another step toward becoming a reality. Yesterday, NASA announced that it has completed the preliminary design review of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. Sounds like boring paperwork, right?
Not so much. Preliminary design review is the step demonstrating that a design meets requirements not only in terms of function and performance, but also cost and scheduling. In other words, completing this step essentially means it looks like QueSST should work as designed without breaking the bank. It’s the okay to proceed to the final design phase.
QueSST is the initial stage of the Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) X-airplane. A scale model of the QueSST design completed supersonic wind tests last month. The model is scheduled to undergo static inlet performance and a low-speed wind tunnel tests to assist with finalizing the design.
Now that preliminary design review is complete, the next step is getting proposals for building a full-sized, piloted plane. NASA plans to award the build contract by early next year. It hopes to begin flight testing the LBFD by 2021.
Learn more at NASA.