NASA’s quiet supersonic X-plane has a new name

NASA’s quiet supersonic X-plane has a new name

The booms and thumps will then be listened to by "at least" 500 local volunteers, who will provide feedback about what they heard.

From November, the USA space agency will use supersonic F/A-18 Hornet jets over Galveston to mimic the sonic profile of the X-59 while a group of around 500 residents document the noise levels. It's a fluid dynamics thing: When an aircraft traveling through the air - the fluid - moves at increasingly fast speeds, the molecules of air at its nose get increasingly compressed.

It's expected that the tests will fix the sonic boom levels that people find acceptable.

The space agency said on Tuesday that it will publicly demonstrate its technology near the coastal resort city of Galveston to ensure that its prototype really will be barely audible when it crosses the sound barrier, reports CNN.

"We'll never know exactly what everyone heard". NASA intends to fly the X-59 over several towns or cities and gather data from residents on the ground about their perception of the sound the supersonic aircraft generates.

Some background: Supersonic travel over land has been banned in the USA since 1973, owing to the huge noise produced when a plane breaks the sound barrier.


NASA research pilot Jim "Clue" Less stands next to a F/A-18 that he is flying to help test low-boom flight research. "We won't have a noise monitor on their shoulder inside their home", Alexandra Loubeau, NASA's team lead for sonic boom community response research at Langley, Virginia, said in a statement.

The X-59 QueSST supersonic plane was included in the White House's 2019 budget request for NASA earlier this year as part of a $633.9 million funding proposal for aeronautics research. "But we'd at least want to estimate an estimate of the noise level that they actually heard". "The scientifically valid data gathered from these community overflights will be presented to US and global regulators, who will use the information to help them come up with rules based on noise levels that enable new commercial markets for supersonic flight over land".

Why it matters: The results will help verify whether these thumps are quiet enough to avoid disturbing residential areas, and establish a testing process for the X-59.

The X-59 is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2021.

You'd only hear the sonic boom when the shockwaves reach your tiny little ears.

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