February 27, 2024

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look.  Supersonic aircraft must break the sound barrier without causing any disturbance  outside

look. Supersonic aircraft must break the sound barrier without causing any disturbance outside

The US space agency NASA and aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin have proposed a new supersonic aircraft that can break the sound barrier without making any noise. The X-59 was officially presented in California.


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The plane, which is 30 meters long and 10 meters wide, was displayed on Friday at a Lockheed Martin site in Palmdale, California. The X-59 can reach speeds of up to 1.4 times the speed of sound, or approximately 1,500 kilometers per hour. When the so-called sound barrier is broken, it will happen almost silently (the sound will be similar to a car door closing), and not with loud explosions as is the case with other supersonic aircraft.

Another striking feature of the aircraft is that the cockpit is located approximately halfway down the fuselage and that the pilot cannot see forward. The pilot receives images of what is happening in front of the plane thanks to a series of cameras.

The silent future of commercial aviation

The X-59 is a key component of NASA's “Quest” (Quiet SuperSonic Technology) mission. He will research the technology to fly silently across the sound barrier. Supersonic flights over land are currently prohibited in the United States, among other countries, precisely because of the inconvenience people on the ground experience from the roar of supersonic aircraft.

The first test flight is scheduled for 2024. After the first series of test flights, the plane will fly over several American cities to collect information about exactly how much noise it makes and how people perceive that noise. The intention is that this technology could later be used in commercial aviation.

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The last regular supersonic passenger flights took place twenty years ago, with the Concorde between Paris, London and New York. After it crashed near Paris in 2000, killing more than a hundred people, and due to the continuing losses, the last flight of the Concorde took place at the end of 2003.

Image showing the X-59, a new supersonic aircraft. © National Police Agency / Environmental Protection Agency

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