NASA's Low-Noise Supersonic Plane Has No Front Window. Here's How They See Through
The X-59 does not include a forward canopy in order to maintain its long needle-nosed shape.
Science & Tech
Supersonic planes might be speedy but they have one distinct problem: They generate an unbearably loud sound. When an aircraft travels faster than the speed of sound, shockwaves form and travel away from the aircraft, merging and generating sonic booms heard on the ground for miles.
NASA is now working with Lockheed Martin Skunk Works to transform aviation through its faster-than-sound X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft that reduces sonic booms to a barely-audible sonic thump.
The new single-seat plane X-59 will be 99.7 feet long, 29.5 feet wide (30 m by 9 m), and will cruise at an altitude of 55,000 feet (16.7 km) while moving at a speed of Mach 1.4, or 925 mph (1,488 km/h). What it won't have, however, is a forward-facing window.