Revolutionizing Supersonic Travel: Unveiling NASA’s X-59 Quesst for Quieter Skies in 2024

  Image credit: Lockheed Martin

Catch the unveiling of the groundbreaking X-59 Quesst, a collaborative venture between NASA and Lockheed Martin, set to transform air travel by breaking the sound barrier without the typical disruptive sonic boom. Under construction at Lockheed Martin’s “Skunk Works” facility since 2019, the X-59 Quesst aims to minimize sonic boom noise, potentially allowing supersonic flights over populated areas.

Tune in on January 12 for the livestream event at 4 p.m. EST on Space.com, NASA+, and NASA TV as NASA reveals the X-59 for the first time. Get ready to host watch parties with printable invites and STEM toolkits provided by NASA.

Having undergone a final red, white, and blue paint job since its showcase in August 2023, the X-59 boasts a distinctive 38-foot beak-like nose, essential for shaping shock waves during flight. Pilots navigate using the External Vision System, utilizing forward-facing cameras and custom image processing software.

Measuring 99.7 feet in length and 29.5 feet in width, the X-59 targets Mach 1.4 or 925 mph at 55,000 feet, powered by a single engine from General Electric Aviation. Post-unveiling, the X-59 will conduct a research campaign, flying over residential areas to collect data on public perception of its quieter sonic booms. NASA aims to leverage this data for regulatory approval, particularly from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The X-59 Quesst’s debut signifies a significant leap in aeronautical innovation, potentially reshaping air travel regulations and introducing a new era of quieter supersonic flight. Stay tuned for this historic event that could redefine the skies.

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