The series of images in this article shows NASA’s X-59 as it sits on the flight line — the space between the hangar and the runway — at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, on Jun. 19, 2023.
The aircraft moved to the space between the hangar and the runway which marks the start of a series of ground tests to ensure the X-59 is safe to fly.
‘We moved the innovative aircraft to a run stall on the flight line for further ground testing, including vibration testing.
‘It is aiming to quiet the sonic boom and is one step closer to shaping the future of supersonic commercial flight travel.’
According to a NASA news release, this series of images shows NASA’s X-59 as it sits on the flight line — the space between the hangar and the runway — at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, on Jun. 19, 2023. The move from its construction site to the flight line is one of many milestones that prepare the X-59 for its first and subsequent flights. Next up, the team will conduct significant ground tests to ensure the aircraft is safe to fly.
The X-59 aircraft—the centerpiece of NASA’s QueSST mission—is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly supersonic, or faster than Mach 1, while reducing the loud sonic boom to a quiet sonic thump.
The X-59 technology will be demonstrated when the X-plane flies over communities starting in 2024 when NASA will fly it over several communities to gather data on human responses to the sound generated during supersonic flight. NASA will deliver that data set to US and international regulators to possibly enable commercial supersonic flight over land.
This breakthrough would open the door to an entirely new global market for aircraft manufacturers, enabling passengers to travel anywhere in the world in half the time it takes today.
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin