Supersonic X-59 may get off the ground with NASA funding

Military Tech
X-59 supersonic jet NASA

MYSTERY WIRE — An $819 million fraction of NASA’s $25.2 billion proposed budget is earmarked for aeronautics research. That’s good news for the X-59 supersonic aircraft that has been in development.

It’s also good news for commercial air travel.

The “X-59 QueSST” — Quiet Supersonic Transport — is Lockheed Martin’s project to reduce sonic booms, a goal that would have widespread application.

READ: Trump’s 2021 NASA budget request supports X-59 experimental supersonic development

“In aeronautics, the budget backs all our cutting-edge research on commercial use of supersonic aircraft, all-electric airplanes, and development of an unmanned aerial system that will make flying small drones safer and more efficient in the 21st century,” NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said when the budget was unveiled.

Funding for X-59 keeps it on track for 2020 assembly and 2021 flight tests.

SEE: The breakdown of NASA’s budget proposal

This follows a year of serious progress as the plane’s wings have been assembled at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, and innovative systems for the craft continue to develop.

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