So YouTube on the Roku has limited ability to search and save, but does an interesting bit of “predict and offer”. (Even if the one in the bedroom thinks I’m a 20-something Hispanic… that’s where I watch Spanish Language stuff so the spouse doesn’t have to hear it ;-)
In this case, it presented a video, that I clicked, about the Moon 2 Mars NASA plans. At about 9 minutes in, the NASA administrator starts talking about the X-59 demonstrator that will be used to show we can do Super Sonic over land over the USA without bothering folks. Really? While I like sonic booms, and remember them from when I was a kid a few dozen miles off the end of the Air Force Base where the SR-71 was based, and while watching it “cook out” especially at night forever hooked me on aviation… I know that some folks are not enamored of having a big BOOM! and all the windows and dishes rattle.
So what’s up?
Well, NASA thinks they can turn a Sonic Boom into a modest “thump”. I’m not sure folks will be all that keen on lots of “thump, thump, thump” overhead, but hey, going a few hours to the other side of the world could be worth it.
The whole idea seems to be fancy aircraft design + flying at 50,000+ feet. I think that could work.
From the Wiki:
The Lockheed Martin X-59 QueSST (“Quiet Supersonic Transport”) is an American experimental supersonic aircraft being developed for NASA’s Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator program. Preliminary design started in February 2016, with the X-59 scheduled for delivery in late 2021 for flight tests from 2022. It is expected to cruise at Mach 1.42 (1,510 km/h) and 55,000 ft (16,800 m), creating a low 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB) thump to evaluate supersonic transport acceptability.
The Low-Boom X-plane will be 94 ft (29 m) long with a 29.5 ft (9.0 m) wingspan for a max takeoff weight of 32,300 lb (14,700 kg). Propelled by a single General Electric F414, it should reach Mach 1.5 or 990 mph (1,590 km/h), and cruise at Mach 1.42 or 940 mph (1,510 km/h) at 55,000 ft (16,800 m). The cockpit, ejection seat and canopy come from a Northrop T-38 and the landing gear from a F-16. Its engine will provide 22,000 lbf (98 kN) of thrust.
The ground noise is expected to be around 60 dB(A), about 1/1000 as loud as current supersonic aircraft. This is achieved by using a long, narrow airframe and canards to keep the shock waves from coalescing. It should create a 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB) thump on ground, as loud as closing a car door, compared with 105-110 PLdB for the Concorde. The central engine has a top-mounted intake for low boom, but inlet flow distortion due to vortices is a concern.
The long and pointed nose-cone will obstruct all forward vision. The X-59 will use an enhanced flight vision system (EVS), consisting of a forward 4K camera with a 33° by 19° angle of view, which will compensate for the lack of forward visibility. United Technologies subsidiary Collins Aerospace was selected to supply its Pro Line Fusion Cockpit avionics, displaying the boom on the ground, and EVS with long-wave infrared sensors. The Collins EVS-3600 multispectral imaging system, beneath the nose, is used for landing, while the NASA external vision system (XVS), in front of the cockpit, is giving a forward view.
Man that’s one long nose… Wonder how that will do scaled up to 737 size and at JFK?
What NASA says:
I’ve bolded a few bits for emphasis…
The X-59 designation has been added to the graphic for the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration mission, which depicts the two key aspects of the effort – the X-plane and the community overflight campaigns it will later fly.
Credits: NASA / David Faust
NASA’s newest experimental aircraft, designed with quiet supersonic technology and intended to help open a new era in faster-than-sound air travel over land, will forever be known in the history books as the X-59 QueSST.
The U.S. Air Force, which is the government entity responsible for assigning X-number designations and the popular name associated with the aircraft, officially informed NASA of their decision on June 26.
Artist concept of a low-boom flight demonstrator in flight over land.
In several years, the X-59 QueSST will test its quiet supersonic technologies by flying over communities in the United States.
“For everyone working on this important project, this is great news and we’re thrilled with the designation,” said Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics.
“I’m confident that the contributions the X-59 QueSST will make to our nation and the world will ensure its place among the greatest NASA X-planes ever flown,” Shin said.
The X-plane number designation continues a tradition of naming important experimental aircraft and rockets that dates back to 1947 and the X-1, the rocket-powered airplane that Chuck Yeager flew to become the first human to fly faster than the speed of sound.
And while that famous X-1 was nicknamed the Glamourous Glennis, for Yeager’s wife, today’s X-59 takes its QueSST nickname from the quiet supersonic technology the aircraft will be equipped with.
Now under construction by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company at its famed Skunk Works plant in Palmdale, Calif., the X-59 QueSST is designed so that when flying supersonic, people on the ground will hear nothing more than a sonic thump – if anything at all.
Once fully tested and pronounced safe to fly within the National Airspace, the X-59 in late 2022 will begin making supersonic flights over select communities to measure residents’ reactions to any noise they might hear.
The scientifically valid data gathered from these community overflights will be presented to U.S. and international regulators, who will use the information to help them come up with rules based on noise levels that enable new commercial markets for supersonic flight over land.
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate
Last Updated: July 5, 2018
Editor: Lillian Gipson
Frankly, I’d be thrilled with just having SST over water. I’ve had an 18 hour flight to Down Under and it is damn near torture. That was WITH a stop in Hawaii after 5 hours to get there. It was 24 hours, all told, more or less. You have no idea, unless you have done it, how horrid that can be. Should the spouse and I ever go there again, it will be in steps of island hopping. 5 hours then a couple of days on some Pacific Island. Repeat until done. Now, were there something that got me there IN 5 hours, I’d consider it…
Then the video:
Yes, its an hour long, but you know to zip to 9 minutes in ;-)
I’m all for it. A.Occasional Cortex not so much ;-)
But 2022? For the demonstrator? THEN a year or two of testing. THEN a year or two for congress to do something other than Bash Trump, THEN only if the Dimocrats are not in power and the Green Dream Nightmare has been recognized as daft… so about 2026 we could START design of the commercial planes… and about 2029 at the best they would go into type testing so MAYBE about 2032 approval and building and then about 2035 commercial service would be available… Let’s see… 2035-2019 is 16 years, so I’d be about 82. Damn.
OK, spouse and I will plan on a slow boat to Sydney…