Home WORLD NASA’s Newly Unveiled X-59 Quiet Supersonic Plane First Flight

NASA’s Newly Unveiled X-59 Quiet Supersonic Plane First Flight


NASA and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works recently unveiled the X-59 experimental aircraft, designed and built to reduce a loud sonic boom, associated with faster-than-sound flight, to a quiet sonic thump.

source.image: NASA

The X-59 now moves closer to its first flight — – a step toward making commercial supersonic flight over land a reality for everyone. Researchers on NASA’s Quesst mission will work to understand people’s reactions to the X-59’s thump and give that data to regulators, who will then consider writing new sound-based rules to lift the ban on commercial supersonic flight over land.

The Low-Boom X-plane is 30.4 m long with a 9.0 m wingspan for a maximum takeoff weight of 14,700 kg. Propelled by a General Electric F414 engine, it should reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 or 1,590 km/h, and cruise at Mach 1.42 or 1,510 km/h at 55,000 ft 16,800 m.


The cockpit, ejection seat and canopy come from a Northrop T-38 and the landing gear from an F-16.With afterburner, its engine will provide 22,000 lbf of thrust.The flush cockpit means that the long and pointed nose-cone will obstruct all forward vision. The X-59 will use an enhanced flight vision system (EVS), consisting of a forward 4K camera with a 33° by 19° angle of view, which will compensate for the lack of forward visibility.