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NASA to reveal X-59 QueSST supersonic jet next week

NASA to reveal X-59 QueSST supersonic jet next week

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  • Lockheed Martin and NASA are launching a supersonic jet named the X-59 QueSST.
  • The X-59’s design reduces the sonic boom to a “thump” like a car door slamming.
  • This could lead to new regulations allowing supersonic flight over land.
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Lockheed Martin and NASA are finally set to reveal the new X-59 QueSST, a supersonic jet designed to surpass the sound barrier without generating a disruptive sonic boom.

The Quesst jet has been in the process of being built at Lockheed Martin’s “Skunk Works” facility in Palmdale, California, since 2019, as reported by Space.com.

NASA‘s experimental X-59 QueSST aircraft aims to minimize the impact of sonic booms by reducing the sound to a mere “thump,” comparable to the noise of a car door slamming. This innovation has the potential to reshape regulations that currently restrict supersonic flight over populated areas.

The United States Space Agency plans to unveil its painted X-59 aircraft for the first time on January 12. NASA will host a free livestream of the event and encourage the public to organize watch parties.

The organization is providing printable invitations and STEM toolkits for educators as well.

The X-59 was initially revealed in August 2023, and its distinctive geometry and striking design were showcased after the final red, white, and blue colors were applied in the paint barn.

The plane boasts a pointed, elongated nose measuring 38 feet (11.5 meters), resembling a beak. NASA explained in a statement from 2021 that this unique nose section is designed to influence the shock waves generated by the aircraft during flight.

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The aircraft, measuring 99.7 feet in length and 29.5 feet in width, is engineered to attain a speed of Mach 1.4, equivalent to 925 mph (1489 kph), at an altitude of 55,000 feet.

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A solitary engine, manufactured by General Electric Aviation, propels the X-59.

The aircraft is set to embark on a research campaign over residential areas, collecting data on public reactions to reduced sonic booms. NASA aims to utilize this information to seek approval from regulatory bodies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, for commercial supersonic flights.

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