Quiet Supersonic Technology X-Plane
The Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane will make supersonic flight greener and quieter. Lockheed Martin has partnered with NASA to solve one of the persistent challenges of supersonic flight – the sonic boom. The QueSST program is designed to turn that boom into a soft “heartbeat” thump.
In partnership with NASA, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team is at it again – trying to find a solution to a difficult problem. Although supersonic flight has been achieved before, the mission of QueSST is to deliver high-speed flight with revolutionary low-impact sound.
NASA selected a team led by Lockheed Martin to complete a preliminary design for the QueSST X-plane. This endeavor supports NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project, which aims to better understand acceptable commercial supersonic aircraft sound levels across the country and develop a way for piloted aircraft to fly fast with low boom.
Lockheed Martin has worked with NASA for more than a decade to develop the tools and technology needed to make environmentally responsible commercial supersonic flight a reality.
QueSST is designed to fly at Mach 1.4, 55,000 feet above the ground. The aircraft is shaped to separate the shocks and expansions associated with supersonic flight to reduce the volume of the shaped signature. QueSST’s “heartbeat” will be dramatically quieter than the traditional “N-wave” sonic boom associated with the current supersonic aircraft in flight today. The Skunk Works team has been advancing this technology for the last 20 years as part of multiple efforts.