Civil Aviation
Supersonic: the X-59 receives its turbojet engine
Supersonic: the X-59 receives its turbojet engine
© Nasa

| Antony Angrand | Source : Air&Cosmos 247 mots

Supersonic: the X-59 receives its turbojet engine

Nasa's silent supersonic X-59 is now powered by the F414-GE-100 engine, which was installed at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, earlier this month. This is the engine that will power the experimental aircraft in flight.

A turbojet engine for the Quesst

The X-59, Nasa's silent supersonic, is now equipped with the engine that will power it in flight. Installation of the F414-GE-100 turbojet engine took place in the Skunk Works department at Lockheed Martin's Palmdale, California, facility earlier this month, marking a major milestone in the construction and final assembly of the X-59.

3.9 m and 22,000 pounds of thrust 

General Electric Aviation's 3.9-meter-long engine provides 22,000 pounds of propulsion energy and will power the X-59 as it flies at speeds up to Mach 1.4 and altitudes of about 55,000 feet (or 16,500 m). "The engine installation is the culmination of years of design and planning by teams at NASA, Lockheed Martin and General Electric Aviation," said Ray Castner, NASA's propulsion performance manager for the X-59. The X-59 team will follow the assembly of the aircraft with a series of ground tests and, ultimately, the first flight in 2023.

First flight in 2023 and testing starting in 2025

NASA's X-59 is the centerpiece of the agency's Quesst (Quiet SuperSonic Transport) mission. The aircraft is designed to reduce the noise of sonic booms, which occur when an aircraft flies at supersonic speeds, to a quiet "thud" equivalent to the slamming of a car door. This will be demonstrated when NASA flies the X-59 over U.S. communities beginning in 2025, with the goal of providing the data needed to usher in the future of commercial supersonic flight over land, with significantly reduced flight times.

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