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NASA’s X-59 QueSST Quiet SuperSonic Technology Aircraft Comes Together


Published on: August 9, 2021,

A heavy assembly of aircraft sections is happening together of -59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology, or QueSST since the initial cut of metal in 2018. It will be done by engineers, system technicians and aircraft fabricators and it has been started to look like actual aircraft. NASA’s X-59 is under construction and assembly in Palmdale, California. It is designed to fly at supersonic speeds which will be 660 miles per hour at sea level. It can cut time travel in half for air travelers in the near future.


Jay Brandon NASA’s chief engineer for the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator project says,” We are now ready to merge bunch of separate parts sitting around on different parts of the production floor to an airplane.”  Following are different parts of the plane and how it will be merged together.


The Merger

Aircraft’s wing, tail assembly, fuselage section will be self located with great precision and accuracy and series of laser projections will be employed to verify the precise fit.

“ It is sort of like how legos go together. We used the laser tracker to make sure it aligns before it is permanently bolted together” said David Richardson.

“Seeing the airplane come together as a single unit motivated the team,” said Dave Richwine NASA’s LBFD deputy project manager for technology.



Fuselage contains cockpit and it helps to define the shape of X-59. Finally the 3- foot nose will be mounted to fuselage. The pilot will see the sky through 4K computer monitor which will display computer processed imagery from two cameras mounted above and below X-59’s nose.X-59’s unique shape controls the way air moves away from the plane so that communities on the ground won’t be disturbed.



The wing is the most recognizable part of the airplane and the most complicated section and first section of the X-59 that was fabricated by Lockheed Martin,” explained Richwine. The 29.5 wide wing holds aircraft’s fuel systems and large portion of its control system. The team used robotic machine that sound like pilot call signs- Mongoose and COBRA. With Mongoose is a tool that will weave skins together using ultraviolet light. COBRA- efficiently created holes that allowed team to attach wing skin to wind frame.


Tail Assembly

The tail assembly holds engine compartments. The tail is heat resistant that protects aircraft from heat given by X-59’s GE F414 engine. It is the upper section of X-59 and is purposeful as aircraft is shaped as desired to produce a quite noise to people.


X-59’s cool factors and the potential future

It can revolutionize speedy commercial air travel over land. It will conduct initial flights tests starting in 2022. In 2023 NASA will fly X-59 over the test range at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to prove it can produce a quieter sonic thump and is safe to operate in the National Airspace System. In 2024, NASA will fly X-59 to  know if they hear anything. The data so collected will be submitted to Federal Aviation Administration and the International Civil Aviation for consideration in changing existing bans on supersonic flight over land. The ban went into effect in 1973. If rules change then passengers can travel in half the time. But X-59 is single piloted and can’t carry passengers. New designs ought to be made to incorporate technology in their own ways.  The future waits for making supersonic flight over land commercial.


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