NASA and its partners keep making progress in their quest to design a new passenger airliner that can fly supersonic without making a lot of noise, one of the main problems with the Concorde. And that progress looks space-age awesome.
This is one of the two subscale models — designed by Boeing — being now tested in the supersonic wind tunnel at NASA's Glenn Research centre in Cleveland:
The model contains a force measurement balance used to capture force measurements (lift, drag). Depending on the type of test and on the tunnel, the model can be oriented any way. Pictured here, the model is actually upside down.
According to NASA, the technologies they are developing with their partners will result in a supersonic plane with a "sonic boom so low that it barely registers on buildings and people below." [NASA]