Why build a quiet supersonic aircraft?

X-59 will demonstrate technology to fly faster than sound as NASA gathers community feedback data.

The data gathered from the X-59 may open the future to commercial supersonic flight over land.

X-59 QueSST

The full name of the X-59 is the X-59 QueSST which stands for "Quiet SuperSonic Technology"

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Faster

Commercial planes aren't allowed to fly faster than the speed of sound over land because they would create sonic booms which are very loud and disruptive to humans and animals.

The X-59 is an experimental aircraft that could lead to future supersonic commercial travel over land, drastically cutting flight times and saving people time in the air.

Map of US showing flight times from LAX to JFK. Commercial flight time: 5 hours. Speed: 575 mph. Supersonic flight time: 2.5 hours. Speed Mach 1.4.

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Quieter

Right now, the rules say commercial planes can't fly faster than the speed of sound because of concerns about sonic booms. The X-59 is designed to reduce sonic booms to a quiet thump.

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Low-Boom Flight Demonstration

The X-59 QueSST aircraft is only part of the mission.

The X-59 will fly over several cities in the U.S. as early as 2024 to help NASA collect data on the public’s perception to the quieter "sonic thump."

Artist concept of a Low-Boom aircraft in flight over San Francisco, CA.
An artist's view of what the X-59 flying over a city will look like.