The new supersonic jet from NASA will not be having a front window. When it comes to supersonic aircrafts, engineers are willing to go the extra mile and are not afraid to carry on with a weird design if that design makes a faster plane. The latest of the lot was NASA’s X-59 QueSST which is like the shape of a pencil with wings attached. The X-59 is being developed by Lockheed Martin with a budget of $247 million.
Interesting questions have been raised like if the cockpit is meters and meters away from the nose, how will be the pilot able to see the front of it? NASA has come up with a solution of installing a 4K TV and a couple of cameras which was as per NASA’s press statement. In place of a traditional window, the X-59 will be having a monitor and will use two cameras placed outside the aircraft combined with terrain data for the pilot to understand where they are heading. The whole system is named XVS (eXternal Visibility Systems). The cockpit of this aircraft looks like an arch of glass over the tiny wings of the plane and a small glass-covered portion in front of the cockpit will be the area for placement of cameras.
The X-59 is a part of the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration Mission, which is a great initiative to make sonic booms not very loud that it damages the ears. In 1947, engineers were able to break the sound barrier which means it can go faster than the speed of sound but a routine flight at the supersonic speed have been banned over the land of America due to extremely loud sounds produced by the aircrafts and sonic boom. Engineers have predicted that with the right shape of the plane, the impact of the sonic boom can be reduced greatly and can become more of a muffle.
A few books, if you want to know more about supersonic jets
NASA has explained the eXternal Visibility System (XVS) is one of the several innovative solutions which have been put forward to help ensure that the X-59 design and shape reduces the sonic boom to a gentle thump that can be heard by people on the ground. The design is not intended to carry passengers, however, the X-59s boom suppressing technology and community response data could help lift the current bans on supersonic flight over the American land and help in building a newer generation of quiet supersonic commercial aircrafts.