Lockheed begins production on jet that could reopen door to supersonic passenger travel

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s famed Skunk Works division has started production on a jet capable of breaking the sound barrier without making much of a noise.

The Bethesda-based defense giant announced Friday it had begun manufacturing the first part of the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft, dubbed “the son of the Concorde” because it could reopen the door to supersonic passenger travel. 

NASA awarded Lockheed (NYSE: LMT) a contract valued at nearly $250 million in April to design, build and test a “low boom” flight demonstrator.

The aircraft will be used to help NASA collect data needed to establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard with the aim of overturning regulations that ban supersonic travel over land.

“The start of manufacturing on the project marks a great leap forward for the X-59 and the future of quiet supersonic commercial travel,” Peter Iosifidis, Low Boom Flight Demonstrator program manager Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, said in a statement.…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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