Testvluchten met ‘Zoon van Concorde’ beginnen in de zomer
January 31, 2022 - NASA and Lockheed Martin are building a unique aircraft intended to reduce a sonic “boom” to a sonic “thump”, thanks to a very long nose that will reshape shock waves during supersonic flight.
By the end of the summer 2022, Lockheed Martin and NASA hope to begin test flying a unique aircraft called the X-59 QueSST (a mashup of Quiet Supersonic Technology).
The plane’s function is to break the sound barrier as quietly as possible, so that rather than create a 110 decibel sonic boom that sounds like an explosion or thunderclap, it instead creates a thump that sounds like a car door shutting – around 75 decibels.
The X-59 sports several distinct features not found on military or commercial aircraft such as an elongated nose (about 11 metres long) and a cockpit with not forward view, meaning the pilot has to rely on a video feed from two external cameras to see out front – making take-off and landing particularly anxious moments.
If tests are successful, it could lead to the lifting of a ban on supersonic travel over the United States, and lay the groundwork for a future commercial supersonic passenger jet – or the “son of Concorde” as it is often affectionately referred to.