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13 Jan, 2024
1 min time to read

NASA and Lockheed Martin have unveiled the X-59, a new supersonic aircraft designed to fly faster than the speed of sound while generating a quieter sonic boom.

The X-59 is at the center of NASA's Quesst mission which aims to obtain data that will help regulators review rules that ban commercial supersonic flights over land. For 50 years, the U.S. and other countries have banned such flights because the loud sonic booms caused disturbance in communities below.

Scheduled for its first flight later this year, the X-59's innovative design allows it to fly quietly at 1.4 times the speed of sound. After initial tests, it will move to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California for further operations.

Once flight tests are complete, NASA plans to fly the X-59 over selected U.S. cities to collect public feedback on the aircraft's sound. The 99.7 feet long and 29.5 feet wide plane breaks up shock waves, minimizing sonic booms and marking a significant advancement in commercial aviation.

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