The time-lapse video in this post features the manufacturing of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology, or QueSST, aircraft from May 2019 to June 2021 and includes the merger of its main sections – the wing, tail assembly, and fuselage or forward section.
Construction of the X-59, under a $247.5 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, is underway at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company’s Skunk Works factory in Palmdale, California.
The first flight of the X-59 QueSST is planned for 2022.
In partnership with NASA, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team is solving one of the most persistent challenges of supersonic flight – the sonic boom.
The X-59 is designed to reduce the loud sonic boom, heard on the ground when an aircraft flies at supersonic speeds, to a quiet thump – a technology that will be demonstrated when the X-plane flies over communities starting in 2024.
The X-59 QueSST will be used to collect community response data on the acceptability of a quiet sonic boom generated by the unique design of the aircraft. The data will help NASA provide regulators with the information needed to establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to lift the ban on commercial supersonic travel 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.
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