CoolPix - NASA: A Green SST Concept… In More Ways Than One
This CoolPix in the NASA category is really a recently released rendering of a new concept for a ‘green’ Super Sonic Transport by Lockheed Martin in conjunction with NASA. Note the Skunk Works logo above the outboard engine. The design was presented in April 2010 to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for its NASA Research Announcement - funded studies into advanced aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 timeframe. One of the primary objectives of the design is to achieve supersonic cruise speeds while dramatically reducing the sonic boom when flying over terrain. Boeing’s Sonic Cruiser was a concept meant to cruise just under the speed of sound, but this needly green machine appears to have cruise speeds well in excess of Mach 1 in mind. Certainly a design that could acceptably cruise supersonic over land would be quite an accomplishment.