This wild NASA X plane is being built

Now, with its X-59 QueSST (Quiet SuperSonic Technology) aircraft project coming soon, NASA has approved the final assembly of the high-tech aircraft.

Nasa's X-59 space plane, capable of flying faster than the speed of sound without the loud boom that comes with supersonic flight, is finally nearing completion.

Our return to supersonic travel is getting closer. 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.

It's the first time in 30 years that they have announced a piloted, large-scale aircraft and it has now been cleared for final assembly and "integration of its systems". The X-59 hopes to change the negative reputation of supersonic aircraft with a design that softens the tree and produces little more than a soft "flop".

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The plane, designed and put together by Lockheed Martin, has a long, pointed nose and is built so that the sonic boom sound is reduced to a "gentle thump" or possibly no sound at all, NASA added.

At Lockheed Martin's so-called "Skunk Works" factory in California, three major work areas have been set up for the construction of the X-59. According to NASA's website, the X-59 will be flown over U.S. communities to generate data from both sensors and people on the ground.

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. These tests might determine the future of supersonic commercial travel and establish new rules and groundwork for travel over land. "We have everything in place to continue this historic research mission for the nation's air-traveling public", Bob Pearce, NASA's associate administrator for Aeronautics, said in a NASA news update.

  • Douglas Reid