NASA X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology Research Aircraft
NASA announced today that it has awarded a contract to Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. of Burlington, Massachusetts, for a national campaign of community overflight tests using Lockheed Martin’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology research aircraft. It’s powered by a single General Electric F414 capable of reaching Mach 1.5 (990 mph) and cruise at Mach 1.42 (940 mph) at 55,000 ft with 22,000 lbf of thrust. Read more for two videos and additional information.

The aircraft generates ground noise at around 60 dB(A), or around 1/1000 as loud as current supersonic aircraft, thanks to a long, narrow airframe as well as canards to keep the shock waves from coalescing. This means it should be as loud as closing a car door, which is a big improvement when compared to the 105-110 PLdB generated by the Concorde. In the third phase of testing, NASA will fly the X-59 aircraft over communities and then ask residents to share their response to the sound the aircraft generated during supersonic flight.

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NASA will provide the results of the community survey and the X-59 acoustic data collected during the community overflight tests to U.S. and international regulators for use in considering new sound-based rules to enable supersonic flight over land,” said the agency.

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