Nasa’s plane is as fast as Concorde, but noiseless

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Dubbed the "son of Concorde" after the Mach 2 airliner, the X-59 Smooth SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) is will cruise at Mach 1.42 (1,090 mph/1,754 km/h) and is designed for supersonic flight whereas fighting its sonic enhance from being heard on the ground. This jet could pave the way forward for commercial supersonic air travel.

The X-59 is designed to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 (990 mph) at a cruising altitude of 55,000 feet and create a sound about "as loud as a vehicle door closing": that of 75 Perceived Level decibels (PLdB).

According to the agency, its X-59 space plane has been cleared for final assembly and is now ready for 'integration of its systems'.

The jet will be able to reach such speeds, without the noise produced by Concorde.

Here's what to know about the X-59. These tests might determine the future of supersonic commercial travel and establish new rules and groundwork for travel over land.

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Instead of a sharp double knock that can break windows and damage structures, a listener on the ground should hear a noise no louder than the knock on a auto door (NASA calls it a "sonic knock").

Aircraft's construction is continuing at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company's Skunk Works factory in Palmdale, California under a $247.5 million contract. The trials will see it sent over "select United States communities" in test flights that wil allow Nasa to measure it using sensors and people on the ground who will "gauge public perception" of the sound of the plane. Final assembly and integration of the airplane's systems - including an innovative cockpit eXternal Visibility System - is targeted for late 2020.

Passing the "Key Determination Level-D" management overview - which used to be held at Nasa's Washington headquarters on December 12, 2019 - used to be the closing administrative hurdle for the X-59 QueSST venture.

Bob Pearce, NASA's associate administrator for Aeronautics, said: "With the completion of KDP-D we've shown the project is on schedule, it's well planned and on track".

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