NASA is Helping Design the Next Generation of Supersonic Private Jets
Luxury aviation is about to go ballistic.
Your Gulfstream G650 is about to look pretty shabby in comparison to the next generation of supersonic private jets being developed with help from NASA and DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, responsible for the military’s coolest gear.
Of particular interest is the X-jet being developed by Lockheed Martin for NASA (above), a business jet-sized aircraft that burns low-carbon bio-fuels and can break the sound barrier at mach 1-plus without generating an ear-splitting sonic boom.
If funding comes through, the new X-planes could start flying by 2020, according to Robb Report. Airbus is also working with Aerion to build a 12-seat Mach 1.5 private jet that would focus on transoceanic routes.
Boom, a startup led by a team of pilots and engineers, has partnered with the Virgin Group’s Spaceship Company to design a 40-seat Mach 2.2 passenger jet for the New York-to-London route. And Boston’s Spike Aerospace is collaborating with Aernnova to develop an 18-seat jet with quiet-boom capabilities that flies up to Mach 1.8.
DARPA’s version meanwhile would fly as fast as 460 mph and could be in the air by 2018. Initial models likely will be unmanned but it won’t be long before the likes of Dan Bilzerian are using them to join the mile high club (again).
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