17/10/2012 16:51 BST | Updated 17/10/2012 16:52 BST

Nasa Unveils Radical Passenger Jet Currently In Testing (PICTURES)

Nasa has revealed a startling image of a radical passenger plane it is currently testing in America.

The design is a concept of a plane which could fly faster than the speed of sound.


Of course, Concorde got there first. But it was never able to crack the commercial market, partially because the noise of the sonic boom created by its super-sonic speeds was too much for flight paths above continental America.

As such, Nasa believes the key to bringing faster flight to the mainstream is reducing the level of sonic boom.

This jet is a model designed to do exactly that. Designed by The Boeing Company, it is currently housed in the supersonic wind tunnel at Nasa's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland for testing.

"This model is a larger of two models used in the test," Nasa said. "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."

The testers hope the sonic boom will eventually be so low that it can hardly be heard by people on the flight path below.