The National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed (NASA) and the aerospace giant Lockheed Martin officially announced the revolutionary aircraft “X-59 Quest”, which is believed to constitute a milestone in the field of hypersonic aviation.
As NASA's newest experimental aircraft, the X59 was designed to break the sound barrier without emitting any loud sound waves, but in return the plane will emit a less noisy buzz similar to the sound of a car door closing when heard from inside.
NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Milroy highlighted the unconventional design of eliminating the front window to mitigate the sound of the sound barrier. Instead, the plane has an external vision system that includes a camera and a display mounted in the cockpit to provide pilots with an augmented reality view of the surroundings, which designers believe will give a sufficient field of view of the plane's surroundings.
The aircraft is also the result of several decades of research and development work, relying on modern advanced manufacturing methods, including augmented reality systems and 3D modeling techniques. The X-59 aircraft represents an extension of NASA’s legacy in the field of pioneering innovation in the field of aviation. The plane is part of a lineage dating back to 1947, which was the beginning of the era of supersonic aviation in the desert of the American state of California.
After completing the first phase of necessary testing, the agency will conduct several flights over selected residential areas in the United States to collect data on how citizens perceive and experience the sound of the aircraft in flight.
NASA plans to use this data to obtain regulatory approval for commercial supersonic flights, with the aim of making aviation more sustainable and enabling faster flight over populated areas.
There are many benefits to supersonic flight, such as rapid medical response, shortened shipping time, and transportation and travel in urgent and fast time conditions.
While NASA and Lockheed Martin are leading this initiative, other companies such as Boom Supersonic are also working on similar commercial aircraft that fly faster than sound, which indicates significant growth in this field.