NASA’s X-59 Plane to Break the Sound Barrier with No Sonic Boom Written 7 December 2022


X-59 | Credit: Aerospace America; AIAA–©

CNET News reports that NASA’s X-59 plane is attempting to break the sound barrier without the usual accompaniment of a sonic boom. At the Armstrong Flight Research Center, just outside of Lancaster, California, the space agency “is working on the X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet SuperSonic Technology) airplane – a demonstrator aircraft designed to fly faster than the speed of sound generating nothing more than a ‘sonic thump.’” Traditional supersonic aircraft “can create a sonic boom in excess of 100 decibels during flight – a problem that led the US Federal Aviation Administration to ban commercial supersonic flight over land in 1973.” But the X-59 “has been shaped to minimize the shock waves that cause a sonic boom midflight, reducing its sound at ground level to 75 decibels.”
Full Story (CNET News)