Watch NASA's supersonic X-59 jet come together in Lockheed Martin's new video

NASA's new X-59 supersonic jet is coming together quickly after its latest pit stop in California.

Engineers at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility in Palmdale talked about the work of the forthcoming quiet supersonic flyer in a new YouTube video, released a few weeks after the jet arrived in April after stress tests in Fort Worth, Texas.

The X-59 supersonic jet video, which Lockheed posted Wednesday (May 10), opens with an incredible timelapse showing the jet coming together within view of a large team of technicians, seeking to make supersonic flight more silent than ever before.

While previous generations of such aircraft, such as Concorde, were known to rattle windows when flying over the speed of sound, the X-59, NASA has said previously, should be no more noisy than a car door slamming 20 feet (6 meters) away. 

In photos: Amazing X-Planes from the X-1 to XV-15 

The X-59 is lowered to the ground at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California following a crane operation to remove it from the back of its transport. (Image credit: NASA/Lauren Hughes)

The video also features project engineers talking about everything from fuel rates, to design testing, to making sure that the modeling for the flight's cruise phase is within lines of expectations (and so far, it appears to be.)

"While the aircraft is being built here in Palmdale, we've had fantastic support from across the country," Michael Buonanno, X-59 air vehicle engineering lead, said in the video.

Assuming the initial flight schedule goes to plan, NASA aims to test its X-59 over several communities in the United States starting in 2024.

"NASA's goal is to collect and provide data to regulators that may finally solve the sonic boom challenge and open the future to commercial supersonic flight over land, reducing flight times drastically," the agency said in an April 18 statement.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: