The X-59 is closing in on the runway

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The X-59 is definitely out of the shops and is currently undergoing ground tests prior to the first flight, which should occur before the end of this year, according to NASA’s schedule.

The X-59 will fly by the end of this year

These two images show NASA’s X-59 on the flight line – the space between the hangar and the runway – in Palmdale at Lockheed Martin, more precisely at the Skunk Works, in California, on June 19, 2023. From the construction site to the flight line is one of many steps that prepare the X-59 for its first flight and beyond. The team will then carry out extensive ground testing to ensure the aircraft can be flown safely, as the experimental aircraft is expected to make its first flight before the end of this year.

Change the regulations

The X-59, the centerpiece of NASA’s QuiEt SuperSonic Transport (QuiEt SuperSonic Transport) mission, is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly supersonic, i.e. at speeds greater than Mach 1, while reducing the loud sonic boom to a dull, quiet sound, akin to that of a slamming car door. NASA will then fly the X-59 over several communities to collect data on human reactions to the sound generated during supersonic flight. NASA will forward this data set to US and international regulators to eventually allow commercial supersonic flights over land or more specifically continents and the Americas, which was previously prohibited at Concorde -whose phases of supersonic flight took place only over the oceans.

John Walker Avatar