(ORDO NEWS) — NASA aircraft designers intend to break the sound barrier again.
This time around, engineers plan to take a completely different approach that will one day allow passengers to travel distances through the air at supersonic speeds.
The Lockheed Martin X-59 QueSST (Quiet Supersonic Transport) is an experimental supersonic aircraft that is expected to fly at 1,510 kilometers per hour, at an altitude of 17 kilometers, generating a low sound pressure level of 75 perceived decibels.
In comparison, the legendary Concorde produced a maximum noise of 105 decibels, comparable to a nearby thunderclap. A sound of 105 decibels was typical for aircraft flights until the 1980s.
NASA intends to demonstrate that the X-59 can fly faster than sound without producing the normally loud sonic booms that led to the ban on supersonic flight over the earth in 1973.
The X-59 will fly over a number of areas as part of the test implementation to see how residents react to the quieter “noise” the X-59 makes, if they notice anything at all.
Regulators will be informed of their comments and may then write new rules to lift the restriction on supersonic flights.
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