NASA has awarded a contract to Harris Miller Miller & Hanson to support a campaign of community overflight tests of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic technology research aircraft.

NASA is designing the X-59 research aircraft with technology that reduces the noise level of the sonic boom to a gentle thump. The X-59 craft is a piloted, single-seat supersonic X-plane that NASA is collecting data that could allow the aircraft to fly over land, reducing travel time in the U.S. and worldwide.

The commercial tests will support the planning, execution and documentation of phase three of NASA’s low-boom flight demonstration mission.

NASA is working with Lockheed Martin to design, build and conduct initial flight testing of the X-59 aircraft as part of phase one of the mission. Phase two will prove the X-59 performs as designed and is safe to fly over national airspace and phase three will see the X-59 aircraft flying over communities that have yet to be selected and asking residents to share responses of the sound heard during the flights.

The results of the survey and the X-59 acoustic data collected during the community overflight tests later to consider new sound-based rules to enable supersonic flight over land.

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