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Supersonic commercial travel begins to take shape

23 November 2018

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has taken a big leap forward and begun manufacturing the first part for the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft.

Illustration of the X-59 QueSST as it flies above NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. (Credits: Lockheed Martin/NASA)

"The start of manufacturing on the project marks a great leap forward for the X-59 and the future of quiet supersonic commercial travel," said Peter Iosifidis, Low Boom Flight Demonstrator programme manager Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "The long, slender design of the aircraft is the key to achieving a low sonic boom. As we enter into the manufacturing phase, the aircraft structure begins to take shape, bringing us one step closer to enabling supersonic travel for passengers around the world."

Earlier this year, NASA selected Lockheed Martin to design, build and flight test the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator. The X-59 will conduct its first flight in 2021. It will be used to collect community response data on the acceptability of the quiet sonic boom generated by the aircraft, helping NASA establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning supersonic travel over land.

X-59 is designed to cruise at 55,000 feet at a speed of about 940mph and create a sound about as loud as a car door closing, 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB), instead of a sonic boom.

For more information, visit: lockheedmartin.com/QueSST or www.nasa.gov/aero.




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