NASA's Supersonic Green Machine headed to your airport in 2030

NASA's new concept superjet, developed by Lockheed Martin, could reduce the volume of sonic booms with its clever engine configuration. Oh, and it looks intensely cool

We're sure it's not technically accurate to describe NASA's latest concept aircraft as a spaceship, but having stared longingly at its sleek, futuristic curves, that's the only conclusion we can come to.

The Supersonic Green Machine comes directly from the eggheads at Lockheed Martin, the same future-driven engineers who designed the wheels on the 1,000mph  Bloodhound SSC jet car .

The design you see above apparently demonstrates the possibility for achieving overland flight by lowering the noise level of sonic booms, thanks to an 'inverted V' engine-under-wing configuration. Yeah, that's pretty much what we would've done.

The concept is one of two designs presented in April to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD -- cool!) as part of its studies into advanced supersonic cruise aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 timeframe. That's not too far off really, especially when you bear in mind just how futuristic that ship looks.

Our only concern at this point is that we can't see any kind of cockpit -- we assume it will be piloted by mega-conscious sentient robots.

Does this mark the historical point where humanity ditches planes and switches to travelling in ships? Fingers crossed.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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