NASA To Unveil ‘Quiet’ Supersonic Aircraft

Artist concept of the X-59 quiet supersonic aircraft.
Artist concept of the X-59 quiet supersonic aircraft. | Image by NASA

NASA is preparing to unveil its latest innovation in air travel.

NASA will reveal its new experimental aircraft on January 12 at 4 p.m. EST. This new craft, part of the space agency’s Quesst program, promises to dampen the sound of a sonic boom.

NASA’s Quesst supersonic research mission has constructed a new experimental aircraft, the X-59. Officials say that the new design of this aircraft allows it to dampen the sound of a sonic boom down to just a “thump” while flying at supersonic speeds.

“Because of how disruptive sonic booms are, supersonic commercial flight over land is currently banned, but supersonic experimental aircraft, the X-59, will provide data on whether we can turn a sonic boom into a quieter sonic ‘thump,’ potentially paving the way for commercial supersonic flight overland once again,” said Jessica Arreola, a member of NASA’s aeronautics social media team, in a video on their website.

It’s no secret that sonic booms from aircraft can cause disruptions for those on the ground, including shaking of homes. Multiple residents had called emergency services last November after hearing loud noises, which officials later said were due to sonic booms from military aircraft, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Jim Less, the X-59’s test pilot, said in another video from the space agency that this craft could cut time for air travel in half.

The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, will host the public unveiling ceremony for the painted X-59 aircraft in Palmdale, California. The event will be attended by NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, NASA Associate Administrator James Free, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president of aeronautics Greg Ulmer, and more.

Participants can sign up to obtain a “virtual boarding pass” through NASA’s Flight Log experience for the craft’s first flight. The names of each participant will be downloaded onto a storage device that the craft’s pilot will carry.

This event will be live-streamed on the NASA app, NASA+, NASA Television, the agency’s website, and YouTube.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article