- The first flights of NASA’s X-59 aircraft, designed to exceed the speed of sound without noise, have been postponed to 2024.
- The X-59, whose flights were postponed, was moved to the paint warehouse at Lockheed Martin’s facility.
- The aim is to measure the public’s reaction by conducting ground tests for the X-59. If successful, supersonic flights over land could return again.
The centerpiece of NASA’s Quesst mission, the X-59 aircraft is an experimental aircraft designed to fly faster than the speed of sound and reduce the noise created when it breaks the sound barrier. Its noise is expected to be around 60 dB(A), approximately 1/1000 of that of current supersonic aircraft.
Underneath this technology is a long, narrow body and wings that prevent shock waves from combining. The sonic boom the plane will create on land is expected to be equivalent to slamming a car door. The aim is to measure the public’s reaction by conducting ground tests for the X-59. If successful, supersonic flights over land could return again.
First flight postponed to 2024
In a statement a while ago, NASA decided to postpone the first flight of the X-59 Quesst due to various technical problems detected throughout 2023. However, despite this delay, new developments continue to come about the aircraft.
The X-59 was finally moved to the paint depot at Lockheed Martin’s facility. It will be painted predominantly white and “sonic blue” colors. This paint will also protect the aircraft from moisture and corrosion.
NASA said the plane combines the new technology with systems and components from a number of established aircraft, such as landing gear taken from the F-16 fighter jet and a life support system adapted from the F-15. Stating that it takes time to make these systems interoperable, NASA states that they will announce a more specific date after the integration tests.
Compiled by: Ömer Kağan Selen