The X-59 continues to be assembled at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works division in Palmdale, California. The aircraft has just had its tail mounted, which will allow the installation of the aircraft's wiring, among other things, to be completed.
A tail assembly at Skunk Works
Nasa's X-59 recently saw the final installation of its elevator planes, namely the tail. The assembly of the latter took place at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works division in Palmdale, Calif. This facility allows the team to continue final checks of the aircraft's wiring and systems in view of integrated ground tests, which will include engine and taxi tests, preceding flight tests, the first flight of which has been announced for this year.
A flying research laboratory
Once completed, the X-59 aircraft is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly supersonically while reducing the powerful sonic boom to a quiet thud, equivalent in feel to that of "a car door shutting a little abruptly" or more precisely 75 EpnDB or 75 decibels perceived on the ground. This aircraft is the centerpiece of Nasa's Quesst mission (an acronym for QUiEt SuperSonic Transport, or silent supersonic transport), whose research program should benefit surviving supersonic projects, since Aerion ended its research following an unsuccessful fundraising effort. In any case, the X-59 should allow the regulation to evolve with the potential of authorizations to fly over the American continent at supersonic speed, with the support of recordings of the aircraft's overflight, made in different places. In particular, Nasa has defined a research protocol using a business jet equipped with turbojet engines comparable to the X-59's engine, a GE F414-GE-100, the same turbojet engine powering (in -400 version) the Super Hornet family.
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