New NASA X-Plane Construction Begins Now

NASA’s aeronautical innovators are ready to take things supersonic, but with a quiet twist.

For the first time in decades, NASA aeronautics is moving forward with the construction of a piloted X-plane, designed from scratch to fly faster than sound with the latest in quiet supersonic technologies.

The new X-plane’s mission: provide crucial data that could enable commercial supersonic passenger air travel over land.

To that end, NASA on April 2 awarded a $247.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, Calif., to build the X-plane and deliver it to the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California by the end of 2021.