By what mechanism or combination of mechanisms does the X-59 reduce the noise produced by its sonic boom? What are the design choices that led to this outcome? I really want to understand the issue from an aerodynamic perspective as well as a design perspective.

Artist's rendering of future X-59 aircraft
Source: nasa.gov

  • $\begingroup$ it would be helpful to have a picture in the question so we can see the details of what you are talking about. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 21:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This plane does not exist (yet). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


As of the date of this answer, the X-59 has not yet flown, but according to the designers...

The ground noise is expected to be around 60 dB(A), about 1/1000 as loud as current supersonic aircraft. This is achieved by using a long, narrow airframe and canards to keep the shock waves from coalescing. It should create a 75 Perceived Level decibel (PLdB) thump on ground, as loud as closing a car door, compared with 105-110 PLdB for the Concorde. The central engine has a top-mounted intake for low boom, but inlet flow distortion due to vortices is a concern.

Source: Wikipedia

Additional information on this NASA project is available here.


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