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NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Experimental Aircraft Arrives Back in California Following Critical Ground Tests

This artist’s concept of NASA’s QueSST jet reflects the aircraft’s final configuration after years of research and design. The jet was constructed by Lockheed Martin at the company’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California. Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

the X-59, NASALockheed Martin’s quiet, supersonic experimental aircraft has arrived back at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, after several months critical ground tests in ft. Worth, Texas.

NASA’s X-59 aircraft Quiet SuperSonic Technology or QueSST was designed to fly faster than the speed of sound without producing a loud, annoying sonic boom typically heard on the ground beneath aircraft flying at such speeds. Instead, people on the ground with the X-59 hear nothing more than a faint sonic thump – if they hear anything at all. The X-59 will fly over communities across the United States to demonstrate this technology, but first NASA had to validate the X-Plane’s acoustic signature with a ground recording system.

NASA X-59 lowered Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works

The X-59 is lowered to the ground at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California after being removed from the back of its transporter by crane. Credit: NASA/Lauren Hughes

Ground tests on the X-59 were conducted to ensure the aircraft could withstand the stresses and strains of supersonic flight — or flight at speeds in excess of Mach 1. The vehicle’s fuel systems were also installed at Lockheed Martin’s Ft. Amenities worth. Returning to California, the X-59 will undergo further ground testing as it nears full completion of its development and continues to make progress towards first flight.

NASA X-59 lowered Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works

The X-59 is lowered to the ground at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California after being removed from the back of its transporter by crane. Credit: NASA/Lauren Hughes

The X-59 was designed to fly faster than the speed of sound without producing the typical loud sonic booms that occur when an aircraft flies at supersonic speeds. The advanced X-Plane will instead reduce that sound to a soft “thump,” which will be demonstrated on flights over US communities beginning in 2024. NASA’s goal is to collect and share data with regulators that could finally solve the sonic boom challenge and open up the future for commercial supersonic flight over land, dramatically reducing flight times.

NASA X-59 Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works

The X-59, which was unpacked after being shipped back to Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, now undergoes final integration. Credit: NASA/Lauren Hughes

NASA’s aeronautical innovators are leading a government-industry team to collect data that could enable supersonic flight over land and drastically reduce travel time in the United States or anywhere in the world.

The Low-Boom Flight Demonstration Mission has two objectives: 1) to design and build NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology or QueSST research aircraft with technology that reduces the volume of a sonic boom to a gentle thud for people on the ground; and 2) fly the X-59 QueSST over select US communities to collect data on human responses to the noise generated during supersonic flight and provide that dataset to US and international regulatory agencies.



NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Experimental Aircraft Arrives Back in California Following Critical Ground Tests Source link NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Experimental Aircraft Arrives Back in California Following Critical Ground Tests

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