NASA's X-59 aims to open the skies for new supersonic airliners

Sept. 13, 2022
The experimental airplane capable of reaching 990 mph will make its first flight later this year, Ryan Erik King reports for Jalopnik.

WASHINGTON - For almost three decades, the slice of humanity who could afford it had access to supersonic air travel. The Concorde regularly traversed the North Atlantic in three and a half hours on routes operated by British Airways and Air France. However, supersonic passenger flights never went further west in the United States than international flights on the East Coast. Government restrictions prevented ear drums and windows from being shattered by sonic booms from sea to shining sea, Ryan Erik King reports for Jalopnik.

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The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

13 September 2022 - The X-59 is shaped to reduce the loudness of a sonic boom reaching the ground to that of a gentle thump, if it is heard at all. It will be flown above select U.S. communities to generate data from sensors and people on the ground in order to gauge public perception. That data will help regulators establish new rules to enable commercial supersonic air travel over land.

NASA is working closely with Lockheed Martin to create a large database of computational fluid dynamics simulations to verify the aircraft’s supersonic performance. The database includes simulations for all possible combinations of settings that a pilot uses to control the aircraft and the flight conditions that may be encountered. This database is crucial for supplying data for a flight-planning tool that is being used to assist and teach pilots how to fly the X-59, before it even flies.

Related: X-59: NASA's quest to build a 'quiet' supersonic plane

Related: Ames' contributions to the X-59 quiet supersonic technology aircraft

Related: NASA Langley works to revive supersonic flight - without sonic booms

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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