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NASA Is Bringing A Quiet Supersonic Jet, X-59 By 2021

NASA has announced plans to officially launch a noiseless supersonic jet in 2021. The supersonic jet called, Lockheed Martin X-59 is built with a Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST).


Speaking about the time for the forthcoming jet, Craig Nickol, NASA’s manager for the project said:


“By about a year from now they should have most of this aircraft assembled and the subassemblies mated together. And a little over a year from now this aircraft should be ready to go into major testing.”


The engineers tout it as a possible replacement of the now-defunct Concorde supersonic plane.


The Concorde jet had been active between 1970 and late 1990. It traveled at twice the speed of sound but gave off an unpleasant sonic boom. Which made it frowned upon as a disturbance if it flew over residential communities. It is likely that NASA has fixed the supersonic jet sound problem as they mentioned. But this is not all the worry that supersonic jets cause.

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Back when the previous supersonic airliner was in service, there was the problem of overheating caused by its speed. Also, there are reports of many technical failures of the jets. In fact, one major incident was a crash in the year 2000 which led to the death of all 109 aboard the vessel. This and the withdrawal of maintenance support by Airbus in 2003 led to Concorde being retired.


NASA’s associate administrator for Aeronautics, Bob Pearce also mentioned:


“The project is on schedule, it’s well planned and on track.


“We have everything in place to continue this historic research mission for the nation’s air-traveling public.” 


An artistic design of NASA’s Supersonic jet, X-59.


X-59 is being constructed at the Skunk Works factory at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Palmdale, California. And another issue supersonic planes face is the cost of flights. Concorde flights had cost $7,995 back then which was almost 30 times what normal flights cost. Meaning only the wealthy could afford this kind of luxury.


Now, with X-59 predicted to cost £188.73 million (nearly $248 million), who knows what the flights would cost?


Tests would, however, first be run over some US communities to see how people react to the jet’s sound (or a lack of it) when in action. NASA also thinks these tests will help establish news rules for commercial supersonic air travel over land, according to the Mirror UK.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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