Nasa is developing a ‘quiet’ supersonic plane with windowless cockpit that could get you from London to New York in less than four hours – The Sun

NASA is currently developing a new "quiet" supersonic plane with a windowless cockpit.

Capable of travelling at speeds of 940mph – 1.4 times the speed of sound – it would mean a flight from London to New York would take just four hours instead of the eight that's currently the norm.

The design of the new plane, known as the X-59, will also lower the noise level of the supersonic boom, according to the Fast Company.

The boom, often heard when planes break the speed of sound, was one of the issues with the Concorde – the noise level meant that it couldn't fly over cities and could only travel at top speeds over water.

Previous speeds set by the Concorde hit highs of 1,354mph, compared to the current X-59's 940mph. Current commercial flights fly at approximately 600mph.

But on the X-59, the boom will be reduced to a loud "thump" thanks to the shape of the nose according to Nasa.

The long, thin nose resembles a duck's beak with the sharp point at the end reducing the sound to just 75 Perceived Level decibels – similar to a car door closing.

However, the new streamlined shape means that there is no way of having a cockpit with windows at the front of the plane.

Instead, pilots will sit in a cabin with a video system simulating the front of the plane.

The External Visibility System (XVS) will create an augmented reality experience by stitching together data from two external cameras and 3D data of the landscape outside the plane.

The cockpit will still have windows on the side to allow pilots to see the horizon-line.

Current testing is being performed on the wings alongside the construction, with Craig Nickol, NASA’s Low Boom Flight Demonstrator project manager saying in a statement: "I’m happy with the progress we’re making and excited to see the aircraft starting to come together."

The first flight is scheduled for 2021.

While the new plane could make flights much quicker and quieter, the aircraft is not made for passengers.

Instead, it is being used for research to gather data for Nasa that could be used to engineer supersonic passenger planes in the future.

NASA is also developing fully-electric planes which use frozen hydrogen fuel to offer more environmentally friendly options.

Tourists even soon go to the International Space Station with NASA by 2020.

It doesn't come cheap however, with trips costing £39 million each.

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