How NASA's new supersonic jet replaced the boom with a quiet thud

May 10, 2024
NASA's X-59 is designed to create a sonic "thud," with the same noise levels as as a washing machine. Removing the sonic boom, the space agency believes, could expedite the return of commercial supersonic travel, J. George Gorant writes for the Robb Report.

WASHINGTON - Imagine leaving work in L.A. or San Francisco a little early on a Friday afternoon and winding up with a drink on the beach in Maui before cocktail hour is over. Imagine Seattle to Tokyo in four hours, New York to London in three-plus, J. George Gorant writes for the Robb ReportContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

10 May 2024 - NASA's 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.

In March, Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based company building a faster-than-sound commercial aircraft, Overture, announced the successful flight of XB-1, an independently-developed supersonic jet, at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. Like Overture, XB-1 leverages state-of-the-art technologies to enable efficient supersonic flight including carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, digitally-optimized aerodynamics, and an advanced supersonic propulsion system.

Related: Boom Supersonic announces first flight of its XB-1 aircraft

Related: Lockheed's Skunk Works installs GE engine on NASA's X-59 supersonic aircraft

Related: Collins to provide avionics for NASA's supersonic X-59

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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