Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of supersonic fighter jets such as the F-16, wants civilians to fly faster than the speed of sound, too.
The company reached a memorandum of understanding with supersonic Aerion Corp. to explore how to engineer and manufacture a business jet that travels faster than the speed of sound, the companies said jointly Friday.
The agreement gives Aerion another heavyweight partner. It previously had worked with airplane manufacturer Airbus on designs of its business jet, the AS2, and GE Aviation earlier this year announced it would work on an engine for the plane.
Lockheed has been working with NASA to develop a quieter supersonic jet. The rattling sonic booms the supersonic planes produce is a challenge for start-ups that want to revive supersonic passenger travel. A 1973 U.S. law prohibits supersonic overland flights.