What is the X-59?

NASA's X-59 will fly faster than the speed of sound...quietly.

The X-59 will feature innovative technology to reduce loud sonic booms to a quiet thump.

Supersonic X-plane history

X-planes are experimental U.S. airplanes and rockets that test new technologies and aerodynamic concepts.

Bell X-1 in flight. Bell X-1
First designated X-plane, and first piloted plane to fly faster than the speed of sound, or “supersonic” in level flight.
Neil Armstrong standing in front of the X-57. X-15
Holds the unofficial world speed and altitude records for an airplane of Mach 6.7 and 354,200 feet. Before he was an astronaut, Navy pilot Neil Armstrong flew the X-15 seven times.
NASA's Swept Wing aircraft in flight. X-29
Built of carbon fiber composite material to allow greater flexibility, the X-29 was the first forward swept wing aircraft to fly at supersonic speed in level flight.

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NASA's aeronautics research

First "A" in NASA is Aeronautics—NASA is with you when you fly!

Did you know that every U.S. aircraft and U.S. air traffic control tower has NASA-developed technology on board to reduce noise, delays, fuel use and emissions?

NASA Aeronautics Research Onboard Commercial Aviation. The artist concept shows Computational Fluid Dynamics, Airborne wind shear detection, digital fly-by-wire, turbo-AE code, Air traffic management, lightning protection standards, NASA structural analysis, composite structures, glass cockpit, area rule, damage-tolerant fan casing, jet engine combustors, engine nozzle chevrons, supercritical airfoil, icing detection, winglets, runway grooves and wind tunnels.

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Current & future research

NASA also is working hard on future technology, including:

Artist concept of X-57 in flight over a green pasture. Ultra-Efficient Transport
We are developing and testing new green technologies for next generation commercial aircraft.
Artist concept showing spacing between aircrafts to create more efficient air traffic control to reduce delays.Future Airspace
We are developing new automation tools for a future airspace system where vehicles safely travel on flight paths with minimal climate impact.
Artist concept showing the quiet supersonic X-59 in flight over land. High-Speed Commercial Flight
We are removing barriers to commercial supersonic flight over land by proving that we can eliminate the sonic boom.
Artist concept showing spacing between aircrafts to create more efficient air traffic control to reduce delays.Advanced Air Mobility
We are transforming the way people and goods move the skies with new air vehicles and at all altitudes.

NASA is working on environmentally friendly, low-emissions aircraft.

NASA is working on better air traffic control systems to help keep our skies safe and secure.

NASA is working on safe and efficient systems for passenger and cargo air transportation in urban areas.