It’s a long-awaited project for the space program, and one that will soon see the light of day. This is confirmed by new images that were recently unveiled. What do they show? These are recent photographs of the X-59, NASA’s supersonic aircraft. They were taken while on the flight line, the space between the hangar and the runway, at a Lockheed Martin plant in California on June 19.
Here was the move from its construction site to the flight line. This is just one of many milestones preparing the X-59 for its first and subsequent flights. Next, the team will conduct important ground tests. In this way they hope to ensure that the aircraft is safe to fly on its future missions.
The X-59 aircraft is the centerpiece of NASA’s Quesst mission. And it is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly supersonic, or faster than Mach 1. And all this will be while reducing the loud sonic boom to a quiet sonic boom, NASA reports.
Next, NASA will fly the X-59 over several populated areas.What is the object of this? To collect data on human responses to sound generated during supersonic flight. NASA will deliver that data set to U.S. and international regulators. It will possibly be to allow commercial supersonic flight over land.
Silent and supersonic
The X-59 is designed so that when it flies supersonic, people on the ground hear nothing but a quiet rumble. If they hear anything at all.
It will fly at over 18,000 meters at a speed of about 1,500 kilometers per hour. However, it will produce in its wake a sound as loud as the slamming of a car door. This amounts to a mere 75 decibels. It will replace the sonic boom typical of airplanes flying above the speed of sound.