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Nasa timelapse shows the ‘Son of Concorde’ being constructed

Timelapse shows production of X-59 Quiet SuperSonic aircraft

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Nasa has shared an incredible time lapse video of the construction of a new supersonic jet.

The craft is called the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) – which is a ridiculous name so it’s just been dubbed the ‘Son of Concorde’.

Once completed, it will be able to cruise at Mach 1.4 – which is 925mph and faster than the speed of sound (767mph).

The jet’s party piece is that it will be able to break the sound barrier without issuing a loud sonic boom – hence the silly name. Instead, it will produce a much quieter ‘sonic thump’ when it takes to the skies in 2022.

Development on the X-59 began in 2018 and it’s being built by aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin at its Skunk Works in Palmdale, California.

In the 43-second clip shared by Nasa, the fuselage, wing and tail assembly can be seen coming together.

The team at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, California, merged the major sections of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft (Credits: Garry Tice)

‘We’ve now transitioned from being a bunch of separate parts sitting around on different parts of the production floor to an airplane,’ said Jay Brandon, Nasa chief engineer for the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD) project.

Building aeroplanes has certainly come a long way in terms of the tech being used. The engineering team employed features on the structure to precisely self-locate the aircraft’s wing, tail assembly, and fuselage or forward section. Then they used a series of laser projections to verify the precise fit.

How it’ll eventually look (Nasa)

David Richardson, Lockheed Martin program director, said: ‘The extensive use of features and pre-drilled, full-size fastener holes has significantly reduced the time it takes to locate and fit parts, especially mating large assemblies like this.’

‘It is sort of like how Legos go together.  We used the laser tracker to make sure it is all aligned per the engineering specs before we permanently bolted it all together.’

Supersonic jet will go from London to New York in 3.5 hours by 2029

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