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NASA wants supersonic jet X-59 Quesst to fly at Mach 4, twice the speed of Concorde

Imagine being able to travel from London to New York in an hour.
  • NASA is working on a new supersonic aircraft called X-59
  • The new aircraft is based on a jet produced by Lockheed Martin, called Quesst
  • NASA wants the new jet to reach Mach 4

Published on Mar 12, 2024 at 4:03PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 13, 2024 at 8:01PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

NASA is working on a new supersonic jet to replace Concorde a couple of decades later.

Mind you, the US Space Agency is truly swinging from the rafters here.

Because they actually want the new jet to fly at Mach 4, twice the speed of Concorde.

READ MORE: The story of the commercial pilot who was sucked out of plane mid-flight and lived to tell the tale

The new proposed jet is called X-59 and it is based on a supersonic airplane built by Lockheed Martin.

For reference, Lockheed Martin in an aerospace company that built just about any and every high-speed aircraft you can think of.

Remember the SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ (pictured below)? That was built by Lockheed Martin.

The SR-72 that (unofficially) replaced it was also built by Lockheed Martin.

Concorde had a top speed of 2,179 km/h – or 1,354 miles.

That’s Mach 2.04, which is twice the speed of sound.

But NASA wants the X-59 to fly at Mach 4, so that’s twice the speed of Concorde, and four times the speed of sound.

That means New York to London in about an hour.

It sounds unrealistic and complicated, and it probably is both, at least for now.

We don’t know everything there is to know about the X-59, but we do know the key issue for NASA is they have to figure out a way to get rid of, or at least minimize, the sonic boom.

One of the main reasons, admittedly one of many, why Concorde was retired is several countries banned it because of the sonic boom, which was very annoying on the ground.

This led to a de-facto blanket ban of commercial supersonic flights.

NASA engineers have apparently worked out a way to fix that problem.

If they pull it off, we may have a chance to fly supersonic again a few decades later.

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