NASA and Lockheed Martin are to begin tests for the new X-59 supersonic jet in autumn of next year. The team developing the aircraft has announced that it cannot be sure that it will meet its “low-boom” goals until the aircraft actually breaks the sound barrier. All experimental aircraft projects tried out and created by American defence and aerospace companies (such as NASA and Lockheed Martin) are designated by the famous “X” before the number of the project. The “X” has had a long history with companies like Northrop (now Northrop Grumman) as well as North American (which became North American Rockwell [later Rockwell International, which itself ceased operations in 2001, giving birth to 2 new companies, Rockwell Collins and Rockwell Automation] in 1967 after a series of mergers) and Boeing. It represents the “X” in experiment. Craig Nickol, the manager of the X-59 project has declared:“When you get a real aircraft in a real atmosphere, there’s a lot of variables that are difficult to model. How that signature propagates through the atmosphere becomes difficult to predict.” This project ressembles the one of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser: a complex, endless effort that eventually pays off. Of course, it is clear that we don’t know whether NASA’s efforts will be worthwile or not or whether they will dwindle into nothing, as many aerogeeks know with the case of the Tupolev Tu-144 (and Concorde, as a matter of fact). The most incredible phenomenon to do with this project is the majestic $247.5 million contract that NASA awarded Lockheed in 2018 for the design, development, flight testing and manufacturing of the X-59. This is the living proof that money is in a ridiculous abundance, but not amongst 99.9 % of the population. What do you think about this project? Is it a good idea or another experiment doomed to fail? Please express your opinion by inscribing a comment underneath this post. 8th of June 2020.