NASA’s X-59 jet will fly at supersonic without a windshield

NASA‘s x-59 supersonic jet is set to receive a bizarre design feature with no front-facing window despite the fact it will travel at supersonic speeds. the cabin will be enclosed however, and the x-59 will house a high-definition monitor which uses two cameras housed on the aircraft’s exterior, combined with terrain data. the setup, which is dubbed the external visibility system (XVS), shows the pilot where he is going.

llustration of the completed X-59 QueSST landing on a runway.
Credits: Lockheed Martin

a NASA statement explained: ‘the external visibility system is one of several innovative solutions to help ensure the x-59’s design shape reduces a sonic boom to a gentle thump heard by people on the ground. though not intended to ever carry passengers, the x-59 boom-suppressing technology and community response data could help lift current bans on supersonic flight over land and enable a new generation of quiet supersonic commercial aircraft.’,

Lockheed Martin has started building the first part of its X-59 quiet supersonic jet for NASA in november 2018, a partnership that is set to bring supersonic travel back to the commercial aviation industry. the news came after the space agency outlined plans for a three-year development timeline, meaning the X-59 could take its first flight in 2021 if all goes according to plan.

NASA’s X-59 jet

the X-59’s first flight will be used to collect feedback on how acceptable its quieter sonic booms are. to ensure that the project will achieve a noise level that most people will find agreeable, NASA plans to conduct tests using an F/A-18 hornet aircraft over texas this month. 500 local volunteers will provide feedback to guage how audible the aircraft is flying over both sea and land.

the X-59’s aerodynamic design comprising a long, slender body is what allows it to be relatively quiet, creating a sound only as loud as a car door closing whenever it transitions to supersonic speeds. the low-boom x-plane will be 29 metres (94ft) long with a nine metre (29.5ft) wingspan. the plane is expected to be barely audible given that it will fly at an altitude of 55,000 feet and at speeds of 940 mph

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