This series of images shows NASA’s X-59 as it sits on the flight line — the space between the hangar and the runway — at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, on June 19, 2023. The move from its construction site to the flight line is one of many milestones that prepare the X-59 for its first and subsequent flights. Next up, the team will conduct significant ground tests to ensure the aircraft is safe to fly.
The X-59 aircraft—the centerpiece of NASA’s Quesst mission—is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly supersonic, or faster than Mach 1, while reducing the loud sonic boom to a quiet sonic thump. NASA will then fly the X-59 over several communities to gather data on human responses to the sound generated during supersonic flight. NASA will deliver that data set to U.S. and international regulators to possibly enable commercial supersonic flight over land.