X-59 Supersonic Plane

Quieting the Sonic Boom

In collaboration with NASA's Quesst Mission, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® team is solving one of the most persistent challenges of supersonic flight – the sonic boom.

The X-59 will be used to collect community response data on the acceptability of a quiet sonic boom generated by the unique design of the aircraft. The data will help NASA provide regulators with the information needed to establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to lift the ban on commercial supersonic travel over land.

This breakthrough would open the door to an entirely new global market for aircraft manufacturers, enabling passengers to travel anywhere in the world in half the time it takes today. 

One Step Closer to Flight: Critical Testing   ___
This video highlights critical testing recently completed on the X-59 and includes interviews from Tony Delagarza, X-59 Finite Element Analysis Lead, and Michael Buonanno, X-59 Air Vehicle Engineering Lead.
X-59 in the News   ___
"Son of Concorde" Moves Closer to Reality as NASA Tests Supersonic Prototype
Third Party Article
The Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) design aims to reduce the sonic boom that occurs as these aircraft move faster than the speed of sound, with hopes to bring it down to a soft 'thump' to allow for flights over land. Experts from NASA and Lockheed Martin now say the QueSST design could meet these requirements, and say flight tests could begin as early as 2021.
Digital design, multi-material structures enable a quieter supersonic NASA X-plane
May 27, 2022
Third Party Article
NASA’s composites-intensive X-59 QueSST experimental aircraft is set for its first flight by the end of 2022, after nine years of design, manufacture, assembly and testing by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.
NASA Completes Milestone Toward Quieter Supersonic X-Plane
Third Party Article
Senior experts and engineers from across the agency and the Lockheed Martin Corporation concluded Friday that the QueSST design is capable of fulfilling the LBFD aircraft's mission objectives, which are to fly at supersonic speeds, but create a soft "thump" instead of the disruptive sonic boom associated with supersonic flight today. The LBFD X-plane will be flown over communities to collect data necessary for regulators to enable supersonic flight over land in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Media Kit   ___
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Skunk Works®   ___


At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, your mission defines our purpose. Our team of dedicated engineers and scientists assume it can be done. With a visionary focus on the future, we partner with our customers to anticipate tomorrow’s capability gaps and technology needs to solve the most critical national security challenges today.