NASA to change air travel with quiet supersonic jet

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NASA is testing what some people are calling 'the new Concorde,' the supersonic passenger jet that could take people from London to New York in just around three hours.

The ticking clock isn't the only noise associated with supersonic jets. When they're travelling faster than the speed of sound, the sonic boom gets pretty loud.

See also: London to New York in three hours: First photos of airbus

See also: New British supersonic jet to fly across Atlantic in two hours


But not with NASAs quieter supersonic jet: they're going for silence this time around.

The space agency and Lockheed Martin teamed up to start the first high-speed wind tunnel tests for the Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, X-Plane.

They blasted this scale model with wind speeds up to 950 miles per hour to see what it could handle.

The jet's design will create a revolutionary low-impact sound, which will be more of a soft thump or heartbeat, rather than a boom.

When talking about the quiet X-plane, former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden jokingly said, "In scientific and technical terms, I think that's what they call, a big deal."

They'll be testing the model for the next eight weeks. The QueSST design is one of a series of X-planes from NASA.

The goal? To reduce fuel use, emissions and noise.

The new X-plane model could take to the skies in 2020, assuming the money keeps rolling in.

The best things about flying

The best things about flying