The X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft (QueSST) developed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will make its first flight by the end of this year.
Following the X-plane’s temporary move from Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in California to their facilities in Texas, the X-59 is set to start 2022 with critical ground testing, the space agency said in a recent release.
While in Texas, ground testing of the X-59 will be done to ensure the aircraft can withstand the loads and stresses that typically occur during flight. The team will also calibrate and test the fuel systems before the X-59 makes the journey back to California for more tests and completion.
The X-59 is designed to reduce the loudness of the sonic boom, which occurs when an aircraft flies faster than the speed of sound, to a gentle, quiet sonic “thump”. The X-plane will demonstrate this in flights over communities around the U.S. starting in 2024, as NASA collects data that could open the future to commercial supersonic flights over land.