The assembly of the X-59 made good progress in 2020 despite the Covid 19 pandemic. The silhouette of the X-59 is now clearly recognizable. GE Aviation has delivered the F414-GE-100 engine that will power the X-59 and will be installed on the airframe by the third quarter of this year. The first flight is expected in 2022.
The turbojet engine delivered and awaiting installation on the airframe
NASA said assembly of the aircraft designed to fly at Mach 1.4 currently underway at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works plant in Palmdale, California has progressed to 2020. In particular in the cockpit, wings and tail of the aircraft. The silhouette of the X-59 is now clearly recognizable. GE Aviation has delivered the F414-GE-100 engine that will power the X-59 and will be installed on the airframe before the third quarter of this year.
A first flight in 2022
The Lockheed Martin X-59 team in Palmdale, California, recently completed assembly of the wing while simultaneously working on the aircraft's tail. The nose section of the aircraft will incorporate the cockpit and avionics required to fly the aircraft. The tail supports the engine and other flight systems. The team will soon merge the three sections and prepare for final assembly in 2021. The X-59 will undergo extensive testing to ensure the aircraft's structural integrity and that its components function properly. The first flight of the aircraft will take place in 2022, and community testing to understand the public perception of the X-59's sound will begin in 2024.