NASA's next-gen supersonic plane just got one step closer to reality

NASA's next-gen supersonic plane just got one step closer to reality

NASA's next-gen supersonic plane just got one step closer to reality

This flight has a Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) plane- also called "Low Boom Flight Demonstrator", which has a special characteristic of breaking the sound barrier without creating thunder-like noise.

NASA has announced that its experiemental supersonic X-59 jet has been approved for assembly.

Supersonic air travel is something that NASA has been trying to ideal for some time. When the long, slender jet transitions to supersonic speed, it will make about as much noise a auto door closing, and since it will be flying 940 miles per hour at 55,000 feet, that could be essentially inaudible.

This was one of the most important criticisms of Concorde, a passenger aircraft that could break the sound barrier.

Illustration of the completed X-59 QueSST landing on a runway.

The key feature of the X-59 is the reduction of "sonic boom" into a "sonic thump" when it reaches the ground. The trials will see it sent over "select USA communities" in test flights that wil allow Nasa to measure it using sensors and people on the ground who will "gauge public perception" of the sound of the plane.

Lockheed Martin and Nasa are building the X- 59 at the facility named, Lockheed at the facility named, "Lockheed Skunk Works" in Palmdale, California.

Work began previous year on the plane at Lockheed's Skunk Works in California, and final assembly and integration of the plane's systems are now scheduled for late 2020. "That data helps regulators to adopt new rules to enable commercial supersonic air traffic over land".

"With the completion of the Key Decision Point-D we've shown the project is on schedule, it's well planned and on track" said Bob Pearce NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics.

It was the last hurdle in the X-59 development and construction program before it seeks approval for first flight, now scheduled in 2021, which the officials will decide upon when they meet again in late 2020.

"We have everything in place to continue this historic research mission for the nation's air-traveling public".

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