NASA to Evaluate Supersonic X-Plane Model in Wind Tunnel

NASA will perform on Thursday, Oct. 25, wind-tunnel tests of a small-scale model of a supersonic aircraft at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Langley engineers will test an eight-percent scale model of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane to gather data needed to build up the control systems for the aircraft, NASA said Tuesday.

NASA expects the X-59 QueSST aircraft to reduce the noise associated with supersonic planes and plans to begin flights in 2023 to collect and present public feedback to U.S. and international regulators to draft new supersonic flight rules.

The event will be the final wind-tunnel test before Lockheed Martin begins to build the X-59 aircraft in 2019 in Palmdale, Calif., under a potential $247.5M contract awarded in April.

Researchers will use laser techniques and smoke flow visualization during the test that aims to characterize the plane’s control and stability at high angles.

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