Suggested Searches

X-59 Paper Desktop Model

Back to search page
Artist illustration of the X-59 (vehicle used for the Quesst mission) in flight over water and land.



Grade Levels

Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12, Informal Education


Physical Science, Spanish, Technology, Flight and Aeronautics, Models


Hands-on Activities

X-59 Paper Desktop Model

NASA’s X-59 experimental aircraft is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound and is being used to help open a new era of commercial supersonic air travel over land. Instead of the loud sonic boom produced by other supersonic aircraft, its unique shape will change shockwaves that come from the aircraft, resulting in a more gentle sonic “thump.” Shockwaves are sharp changes in air pressure caused by an object moving faster than the speed of sound, which is approximately 660 mph at sea level.

The X-59 research aircraft will be used to conduct a series of flights over several communities around the United States to learn what residents think about the aircraft’s sonic thump. NASA will give that information and other data to regulators to help change the rules that currently ban supersonic flight over land.

NASA contracted Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company to design, build, and conduct initial flight testing of the X-59 at its Skunk Works factory in Palmdale, CA. The single-seat X-59 will be 99.7 feet long, 29.6 feet wide, and will cruise at an altitude of 55,000 feet while moving at a speed of Mach 1.4, or 925 mph.

All four of NASA’s aeronautics field centers, working together with partners in government, industry, and academia, are pulling together to enable a new era in aviation.

Follow the instructions in the PDF to learn how to build a paper desktop model of the X-59. For best results print on card stock.

X-59 Paper Desktop Model (English)

X-59 Paper Desktop Model (Spanish)