Many of us have never sat inside a supersonic plane. We might have had a chance if the Concorde was still around but that supersonic plane was grounded a long time back. However, it seems that we might be able to travel faster than the speed of sound on a commercial flight in a couple of decades. NASA has designed a new supersonic plane that will not only drastically reduce the flight time for international journeys, but it will do that at a noise level significantly below that of the ill-fated Concorde.

Bloomberg reports that starting next month, NASA will look for bids from aircraft manufacturers that want to make its design a reality. Said manufacturers will also receive a budget of $400 million from NASA to commit themselves to this project over the next five years.

NASA isn’t just making a concept out of this. It plans to develop a commercially viable supersonic airplane that can address the rapidly growing demand for fast international travel.

Lockheed was partly involved in the design process with NASA. They’ve targeted noise levels equal to what we hear while driving a luxury car at high speeds. According to the report, the targeted sound level is around 60 to 65 decibels.

If they’re able to achieve that it would be an enormous feat considering the fact that the Concorde came in at around 90 decibels. NASA hopes to perform live tests of the supersonic plane over populated communities by 2022.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about NASA and _cool.

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