NASA has announced a new supersonic plane that is incredibly fast without producing the supersonic boom that made the Concorde infamous.
The plane carries the name of X-5 Quiet Supersonic Technology (or QueSST), and it passed all mandatory trials. It is estimated that production should begin soon, while a possible launch could take place in 2021. According to a high-ranking NASA employee from the Aeronautics division, everything is on schedule.
It is essential to mention that the plane is being developed for commercial use as supersonic airplanes would increase the performance of air-travel companies while also offering a shorter travel time for the passengers. X-59 was crafted from the ground up to reduce the loudness of sonic booms. When it travels across an area, people will hear a tame thump.
X-59 is NASA’s supersonic plane that produces no sonic boom
The Concorde was a turbo-jet powered supersonic passenger airliner that was employed by both British Airways and Air France for 27 years until the retirement of the fleet in 2003. It was co-developed by the French and the British under a treaty, and 20 units were assembled, with six being prototypes. The initiative was affected by a high number of overruns and delays. The cost of the program rose at a high pace during development.
While the Concorde was quite fast, the manufacturing cost was highly prohibitive, and only 14 airplanes were operated commercially. Another problem stemmed from the fact that the planes were limited to ocean-crossing routes since the intense sonic boom would disturb people who lived in populated areas.
Despite the low number of available airplanes Air France and British Airways managed to make them profitable since expensive tickets accompanied the impressive travel speed. They were able to reach most destinations in half of the time required by regular airliners. After the X-59 is ready for flight, it will face a battery of tests as NASA wants to determine it if can be operated safely.