Aerospace Engineering Seminar
In April 2018, NASA took a large step towards a return to supersonic passenger air travel with the contract award to a team lead by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in Palmdale, CA to build and fly a clean sheet, piloted supersonic X-plane. The driving requirements of this aircraft are to generate supersonic noise that is dramatically quieter than today's aircraft, with a supersonic "heartbeat" rather than a "boom".
This talk will provide a brief overview of the history of low boom shaping technology. It will also discuss how modern Computational Fluid Dynamics and computing capabilities along with traditional wind tunnel testing allow us to shape supersonic aircraft to reduce the loudness of sonic booms by more than 30 dB compared to legacy supersonic platforms. Finally, an overview of the X-plane design will be presented along with a discussion of how NASA plans to use the aircraft to collect the responses from the public community to support future efforts to revise the current FAA restrictions for supersonic flight overland.