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X-59 gets a Patriotic makeover
The aircraft made the move to the paint barn on Nov. 14, 2023. Once it is painted, the team will take final measurements of its weight and exact shape to improve computer modeling.
X-59 gets a Patriotic makeover
by Brad Bartz
Palmdale CA (SPX) Nov 21, 2023

NASA's X-59 quiet supersonic aircraft, a groundbreaking project aiming to revolutionize supersonic travel, recently marked a significant milestone in its development. The aircraft has been moved to the paint barn at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works' facility in Palmdale, California, indicating progress towards its completion.

The X-59's new paint scheme is not just a cosmetic upgrade but also plays a crucial role in the aircraft's functionality. According to the press release, the paint job includes a predominantly white body, complemented by a NASA "sonic blue" underside and striking red accents on the wings. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the paint serves a practical purpose by protecting the aircraft from moisture and corrosion. It also includes essential safety markings that assist in ground and flight operations.

Cathy Bahm, the low boom flight demonstrator project manager, expressed her excitement about this development stage, saying, "We are incredibly excited to reach this step in the mission. When the X-59 emerges from the paint barn with fresh paint and livery, I expect the moment to take my breath away because I'll see our vision coming to life." She anticipates that the year ahead will be significant for the X-59, especially as its exterior begins to reflect the mission's grandeur.

The X-59, a centerpiece of NASA's Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) mission, represents a leap in aeronautical innovation. Its design allows it to fly faster than the speed of sound while mitigating the loud sonic boom typically associated with such speeds to a less disruptive sonic thump. This technological advancement could pave the way for changing the current regulations that restrict commercial supersonic flight over land, largely due to noise concerns.

In collaboration with Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, known for its pioneering work in aerospace technology, NASA plans to conduct test flights and community overflights with the X-59. These tests aim to gather data on public perception of the aircraft's noise profile, which could be crucial in influencing future regulations on supersonic travel.

The aircraft's move to the paint barn on November 14, 2023, is a step towards finalizing its construction. Post-painting, the team will undertake precise measurements of the aircraft's weight and shape, essential for refining computer modeling and ensuring optimal performance.

The X-59's development and impending completion hold promise for a new era in aviation, where faster-than-sound travel could become more accessible and environmentally friendly. With its innovative design and reduced noise footprint, the X-59 is poised to transform the landscape of commercial aviation, making supersonic travel over land a viable reality.

Related Links
X-59 at NASA
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com

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