This week we present a not-so-common innovation of the week. It won’t just be a gadget or technology. It’s a whole airplane. I’m sure not everyone has been paying attention to this news because of the launch of the Apple Vision Pro. Now we’re going to tell you why this is a major breakthrough in innovation. X-59, a single-seat X-plane aiming to reduce the sound of the sonic boom to a mere thump. It opens the possibility for commercial supersonic flights over land, which has been prohibited since 1973.

NASA and Lockheed Martin showed off the experimental supersonic airplane of Project X-59 for the first time. The airplane performed in white livery with red stripes on the wings and the NASA emblem. This aircraft will become a testing ground for practicing quiet flight at supersonic speed, which will open the way to civil supersonic aviation that does not create sound pollution over cities.

The X-59 will make its first flight later this year. Before that, it will undergo extensive testing of onboard systems and compatibility with ground equipment. Then it will be taxiing on the runway and only by late spring or early summer will the first flight take place. At the end of the tests will be selected several American cities over which the X-59 will make test flights. NASA specialists will place noise sensors on the ground and after the flights will survey the local population about the sensations experienced during the X-59 flights.

The data collected will be submitted to regulatory authorities. It is believed that supersonic civil aviation has failed to develop due to, among other reasons, the high level of noise created by engines when overcoming the sound barrier and during flights at supersonic speed. Overcoming the sound barrier by the X-59 airplane will be no louder than slamming a car door, NASA reports. Future supersonic civilian airplanes should not disturb people’s hearing, even when flying over their heads.

The X-59 aircraft is designed to test a design that reduces noise in flight. Almost one-third of the 30.4-meter fuselage of the aircraft is occupied by the nose. For this reason, the cockpit is almost in the middle of the airplane, making it impossible to see on course. In this direction, the cockpit does not even have glazing. The pilot can be oriented by external high-resolution cameras. At maximum speed, the X-59 will reach Mach 1.4 (1715 km/h).