Tuesday, 21 Sep 2021

NASA timelapse shows ‘son of Concorde’ supersonic passenger plane being built

NASA has shared a time-lapse video of its experimental supersonic plane dubbed the "son of Concorde" being built.

In the clip, engineers buzz around the skeletal structure of the jet, which is officially titled the X-59 QueSST, as it is put together piece by piece in a huge aircraft hangar.

The main body (fuselage) of the plane and its dart-shaped wings are seen being built as the plane starts to take shape.

If the project is successful, the plane will have a cruising speed of more than 1,000 mph without making the deafening sonic boom that made Concorde unwelcome in many areas.

The plane will have a nose so thin the pilot won't be able to see out of the cockpit and instead will use a 4k screen wired up to cameras.

According to engineers, the plane will make a light thump noise like a car door closing or possibly no sound at all.

The video has been watched more than 43,000 times since it was uploaded on NASA's YouTube channel on August 3.

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NASA said: "This time-lapse represents manufacturing of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology, or QueSST, aircraft from May 2019 to June 2021 and includes the merger of its main sections – the wing, tail assembly, and fuselage or forward section.

"The first flight of the X-59 QueSST is planned for 2022."

NASA said the plane will fly at Mach 1.4 which is more than 1,000 mph and nearly twice as fast as regular aircraft which cruise at around 550 mph.

The space agency claims the plane could fly across the US, from Los Angeles on the west coast to New York City in the east, in just two and a half hours.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman previously explained that test flights over people's homes would determine if the plane really was as quiet as predicted.

They said: "Beginning in mid-2022, NASA will fly the X-plane over select US cities and collect data about community responses to the flights."

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