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NASA Enlists Boeing, Northrop to Design Mach 2-Plus Air Vehicles

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) will lead two separate teams under a pair of NASA contracts to develop concepts for a passenger jet capable of reaching Mach 2 to Mach 4 speeds.

Each industry team will create a nonproprietary aircraft design and a high-speed air travel roadmap for the next phase of the Advanced Air Vehicles Program, the space agency said Tuesday.

The 12-month project will also see companies study possible risks and challenges of traveling with aircraft two to four times the speed of sound, as well as explore technologies needed to achieve AAVP objectives.

Boeing’s team includes Exosonic, GE Aerospace and Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, while Blue Ridge Research and Consulting and Boom Supersonic are among Northrop’s team members.

Rolls-Royce North American Technologies will work with both groups.

NASA found that roughly 50 routes connecting cities present a potential market for supersonic passenger air travel.

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