NASA has released a time-lapse video on the manufacture of the silent supersonic aircraft X-59 from May 2019 to June 2021, which includes the assembly of its main sections.
With the wing, tail assembly and fuselage or forward section already integrated, the X-59’s first flight is scheduled for 2022. Its design is based on Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST), which avoids the usual ‘ sonic boom ‘when breaking the sound barrier.
As the video shows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcvYjkCBY28) a heavy chorus of bolts and machinery filled the X-59 assembly building as the plane’s engineers, systems technicians and manufacturers worked to merge the main sections together, making it look like a real airplane for the first time since the initial metal cutting in 2018.
NASA’s X-59 QueSST is under construction at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, and is designed to fly at supersonic speeds, approximately 1,060 kilometers per hour at sea level, without producing the sonic boom for people in Earth.
The results of the new design could change the rules that currently prohibit supersonic flights over the ground, cutting travel time in half for air travelers in the near future, the space agency reports.