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New supersonic plane could hush sonic booms

New supersonic plane concept envisioned by aerospace company Lockheed Martin could dampen sonic booms, allowing faster-than-sound travel over land.

Lockheed's supersonic plane concept is just one of several designs presented in April to NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, following a call for studies on advanced aircraft that could take to the skies sometime around 2030 or 2035.

Newscom/File

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A new design concept for a futuristic faster-than-sound aircraft could break through legal barriers to supersonic flights over land by shushing the sonic booms created by such vehicles.

The concept aircraft, envisioned by aerospace company Lockheed Martin, would revolutionize supersonic cruising by relying upon a so-called "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration, where the engines sit atop the wings rather than beneath, NASA officials said in a statement.

A Lockheed illustration of the supersonic concept released by NASA is just one of several designs presented in April to the space agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate following a call for studies on advanced aircraft that could take to the skies sometime around 2030 or 2035.

NASA also has high hopes for air-breathing scramjet technology that could efficiently propel vehicles at hypersonic speeds and potentially help boost future space planes into Earth orbit. [Air Force's plans for hypersonic weapons.]

The United States and other nations previously banned overland supersonic flights because of their classic sonic boom and rattle effect that can ruin anyone's morning cup of coffee.

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