Facing continuing budget constraints over its future subsonic X-plane flight-demonstrator plan, NASA has awarded a limited series of risk-reduction contracts to help industry contenders reduce technology risk and maintain momentum over the intervening years before the first demonstrator takes to the skies in the mid-2020s. When the agency unveiled its New Aviation Horizons initiative in 2016, it planned to follow the first all-new X-plane of the 2020s—the Quiet Supersonic Technology ...

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