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Supersonic Flight

NASA is working with its partners to enable new choices for high-speed air travel, starting with commercial supersonic flight over land through the Quesst mission and the experimental X-59 airplane. Even faster flight some day through hypersonic technology is not impossible. Keep an eye on this page for updates about these topics.

The image shows a moment from a computational fluid dynamics simulation of the X-59 aircraft concept during supersonic flight.

Quesst Mission

NASA's Quesst mission is to lead a government-industry team to collect data that could make commercial supersonic flight over land possible, dramatically reducing air travel time in the United States or anywhere in the world. The centerpiece of the mission is the X-59 aircraft.

Follow the Quesst Mission Here about Quesst Mission
Artist illustration of the X-59 in flight over land against bright blue skies.

Supersonic E-Books

Here are links to three e-books that are free to download. Each offer a different perspective on the history of supersonic research by NASA and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Quieting the Boom book cover

Quieting the Boom

The Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator and the Quest for Quiet Supersonic Flight

X-15 #3 is flown by NASA research pilot Milton O. Thompson in a heat transfer rate study.


Extending the Frontiers of Flight

Probing the Sky book cover

Probing the Sky

Selected NACA Research Airplanes and Their Contributions to Flight

Other Aeronautics topics

Artist illustration of the X-59 in flight over a surbuban neighborhood.

Research about flying faster than the speed of sound.

Aerospace Cognitive Engineering Lab Rapid Automation Test Environment; (ACEL-RATE) in N262 showing out-the-window views of San Francisco for UAM UTM Ride Quality Simulation project.

Stories about pioneering the frontiers of 21st century flight.

The Moog SureFly aircraft hovers above Cincinnati Municipal Airport during an acoustic hover test.

All about new ways to get from here to there in the air.

In this image, captured using data from a wind-tunnel test, the red and orange areas represent higher drag, and the green and bl

Learn about research to make aviation more sustainable.

Airplane outside it's gate at the airport.

Read about how NASA is opening up the sky for all.