Lockheed Martin Experimental Supersonic X-59 With a Quiet Sonic Boom

Lockheed has made experimental X-59 plane to test ways to quiet the sonic boom of future commercial supersonic planes.

The X-59’s unique shape is designed to spread out supersonic shockwaves so that people on the ground will only hear a quiet “sonic thump”. The X-59 is expected to produce a gentle thump, similar to a nearby car door slamming.

The X-59 is 94 feet long and has a 29.5-foot wingspan. It has a long, pointed nose cone that obstructs forward vision. The X-59’s design includes a long, slender airframe and canards to mitigate the shockwaves’ convergence.

The X-59 is projected to achieve a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 or 990 mph. Its cruising speed is Mach 1.42 or 940 mph at an altitude of 55,000 ft.

The X-59’s first flight is scheduled for this year after a series of ground tests.

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