X-59 Quiet Supersonic Airplane Now Fitted With 22,000 Pounds of Thrust Engine

It seems like forever ago when NASA first announced its plans to create the tech for a supersonic passenger airplane quiet enough as to be allowed to fly over populated areas. And it’ll be a longer while still until it gets here, but at least its precursor, the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST), is coming along nicely.
General Electric engine being fitted on the X-59 6 photos
Photo: NASA/Carla Thomas
NASA QueSST airplaneNASA QueSST airplaneNASA QueSST airplaneNASA QueSST airplaneX-59 prototype at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in California
Last time we’ve heard of it was all the way back in April, when it was moved back to California, missing a lot of the parts that’ll eventually make it a working aircraft. Still not complete, it now reached a major milestone, as it got mated to its engine. The plane got its powerplant earlier this month at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works facility, but the achievement was only now made public.

“The engine installation is the culmination of years of design and planning by the NASA, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric Aviation teams,” said in a statement Ray Castner, NASA’s propulsion performance lead for the X-59.

“I am both impressed with and proud of this combined team that’s spent the past few months developing the key procedures, which allowed for a smooth installation.”

The engine is a F414-GE-100 afterburning turbofan of General Electric make, rated at 22,000 pounds of thrust. Some of you might be familiar with it as it’s the engine used on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or the Saab JAS 39E/F Gripen. The engine will be capable of pushing the X-59 to speeds of Mach 4, and at altitudes of up to 55,000 feet (16,800 meters).

As per the current plan, NASA will continue assembling the aircraft, and will follow that with a series of ground tests. Then, at the end of 2023, the first flight of the X-59 is expected. If it succeeds, the X-59 might pave the way for the return of civilian supersonic aerial transport.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
press release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories