There’s a chance you might get to see creepy ‘UFOs’ in the sky at night if you live in Texas. NASA is reportedly developing a ‘quiet’ supersonic aircraft that could potentially revolutionize air travel. NASA announced that it will publicly present this technology near the coastal resort city of Galveston so that the prototype will be scarcely audible when tearing through the sound barrier.
This experimental project was formerly called X-plane (like in Star Wars) or ‘Low-Flight Flight Demonstrator’. It was later retitled X-59 QueSST. If this project becomes successful, it will make supersonic flights more economical. You can probably travel New York to London in almost half the fare and half the time.
NASA will use supersonic F/A-18 Hornet jets over Galveston to copy the sonic profile of the X-59. If there’s an audible profile, a team of around 500 resident will document it. Diving at the speed of sound, the jets will produce two types of sonic booms that’ll help NASA determine their sound profile at the ground level.
Galveston was selected as the testing location due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The venue helps divert the loud sonic booms to the sea and keep the quieter sonic thumps in the city.
The project of this low-noise and fast aircraft was awarded to Lockheed Martin on a $247.5 million contract.