Lockheed has made experimental X-59 plane to test ways to quiet the sonic boom of future commercial supersonic planes.
What’s the X-59 been up to recently? We’re glad you asked. 👇
We moved the aircraft to a run stall on the flight line for further ground testing, including vibration testing.
It’s aiming to quiet the sonic boom and shape the future of supersonic commercial flight travel. pic.twitter.com/yMwZteyd7H
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) July 6, 2023
As early as 2024, NASA plans to fly the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft over select communities to gather information about how the public perceives the quiet thump the X-59 is designed to produce.
Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin pic.twitter.com/l15CTlq9QF
— Chris Bolton (@CcibChris) October 31, 2022
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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