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NASA will soon test how quiet its new X-59 aircraft really is. The X-59 aircraft is designed to reduce the sound of sonic booms and allow supersonic aircraft to fly above populated areas while exceeding the speed of sound. The space agency explained in a press release that it will soon be tested.
Hypersonic capabilities in aircraft provide greater flight speeds, and are commonly used in the military. Due to the powerful noise that hypersonic aircraft can produce, it is difficult to implement these capabilities commercially – a difficulty that the US space agency wants to solve. NASA is currently working on improving the Lockheed Martin X-59 to make it more quiet. Detailed information from real flights over populated areas in the US will be collected for further research and will be available by 2023.
It is equipped with a thin nose 10 meters long, which reduces the volume of sonic boom. According to interestingengineering.com, the data generated from several years of tests will be sent to US regulators to determine whether hypersonic planes can fly commercially by 2028.
It’s expected that more companies will join the trend and begin offering voice-over flights for commercial purposes in the near future. The move will reduce flight times significantly, enabling a wider audience to access flights, and reducing noise pollution.