Last year NASA awarded contracts to three teams at Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gurmman and Boeing to create a perfect plane for 2025, silent and with low fuel consumption. Here is what they came up with, which could enter service in 2025.

These are NASA requirements:

And each design has to fly up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo.


The first one is the proposal by Lockheed. This one is by Northrop Grumman:

And here's the Boeing one:


Quite different approaches to the same problem—and they seem in reverse too. Seems like Lockheed Martin would have made the Northrop, while Northrop would go for Boeing's blended wings (which are traditionally their design), and Boeing for Lockheed's Dreamlinerish design . We will see what really happens when the 2025 release date comes. [NASA]