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Lockheed Martin X-59 QueSST

  (Redirected from Quiet Supersonic Technology)

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.

X-59 QueSST
Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator.jpg
Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator
Role Experimental supersonic aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Built by Lockheed Martin
First flight Planned: summer 2021[1]
Introduction Planned: 2022[2]
Primary user NASA
Program cost $247.5M[2]

Contents

DevelopmentEdit

In February 2016, Lockheed Martin was awarded a preliminary design contract, aiming to fly in the 2020 timeframe.[3] A 9% scale model was to be wind tunnel tested from Mach 0.3 to Mach 1.6 between February and April 2017.[4] The Preliminary design review was to be completed by June 2017.[5] While NASA received three inquiries for its August 2017 request for proposals, Lockheed was the sole bidder.[1]

On April 2, 2018, NASA awarded Lockheed Martin a $247.5 million contract to design, build and deliver in late 2021 the Low-Boom X-plane. On June 26, 2018, the US Air Force informed NASA it had assigned the X-59 QueSST designation to the demonstrator.[6] By October, NASA Langley had completed three weeks of wind tunnel testing of an 8%-scale model, with high AOAs up to 50° and 88° at very low speed, up from 13° in previous tunnel campaigns.[7] Testing was for static stability and control, dynamic forced oscillations, and laser flow visualization, expanding on previous experimental and computational predictions.[8]

From November 5, NASA was to begin tests over two weeks to gather feedback: up to eight thumps a day at different locations will be monitored by 20 noise sensors and described by 400 residents, receiving a $25 per week compensation. To simulate the thump, a F/A-18 is diving from 50,000 ft to briefly go supersonic for reduced shock waves over Galveston, Texas, an island, and a stronger boom over water.[9] By then, Lockheed Martin had began milling the first part in Palmdale, California.[10]

The critical design review is planned for September 2019 and the first flight in the summer of 2021.[1] After flight-clearance testing at the Armstrong Flight Research Center, an acoustic validation will include air-to-air Schlieren imaging backlit by the Sun to confirm the shockwave pattern until September 2022.[1] NASA will then flight test it to verify its safety and performance, and to prove the quiet supersonic technology from mid-2022 over U.S. cities to evaluate community responses for regulators, which could enable commercial supersonic travel.[2] Community-response flight tests in 2023-25 will be used for ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection meeting (CAEP13) establishing a sonic boom standard in 2025.[1]

DesignEdit

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.[5] The long and pointed nose-cone will obstruct all forward vision. The X-59 will use an enhanced flight vision system, consisting of a forward 4K camera with a 33° by 19° angle of view, which will compensate for the lack of forward visibility.[1][11]

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).[12] 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.[1] 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.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Graham Warwick and Guy Norris (Apr 4, 2018). "Lockheed To Build NASA's Low-Boom Supersonic X-Plane". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  2. ^ a b c "NASA Awards Contract to Build Quieter Supersonic Aircraft" (Press release). NASA. April 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Jim Banke (April 22, 2016). "QueSST - New Era of X-Plane Research". NASA.
  4. ^ Karen Northon (24 February 2017). "NASA Wind Tunnel Tests X-Plane Design for Quieter Supersonic Jet" (Press release). NASA.
  5. ^ a b Leigh Giangreco (22 March 2017). "Lockheed and NASA move toward design review for supersonic X-plane". Flightglobal.
  6. ^ Jim Banke (28 June 2018). "NASA's experimental supersonic aircraft now known as X-59 QueSST". NASA.
  7. ^ Graham Warwick (Oct 30, 2018). "NASA Wind-Tunnel Tests Mature Low-Boom X-Plane Design". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  8. ^ Chad Trautvetter (November 6, 2018). "NASA Spools Up Low-boom Supersonic Research". AIN online.
  9. ^ Graham Warwick (Nov 2, 2018). "NASA To Begin Quiet Supersonic Research Flights In Texas". Aviation Week Network.
  10. ^ Garrett Reim (16 Nov 2018). "Lockheed Martin starts work on X-59 Quiet Supersonic aircraft". Flightglobal.
  11. ^ Trevithick, Joseph (2018-08-23). "NASA's X-59A Quiet Supersonic Test Jet Will Have Zero Forward Visibility For Its Pilot". thedrive.com.
  12. ^ Jim Banke (April 3, 2018). "New NASA X-Plane Construction Begins Now". NASA.
  13. ^ Meredith Bruno (Jun 19, 2018). "Iconic goes supersonic!". GE Aviation.

External linksEdit