Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

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The future of commercial flight?

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On January 12th NASA rolled out Its newest prototype plane: the X-59

The x-59 is a supersonic plane developed by NASA and Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Work division, this plane’s goal is to bring back commercial supersonic flight. This type of flight is prohibited above land because it causes a loud boom. However, thanks to its clever design, this plane makes a quite silent boom of around 75 decibels (comparable to a dishwasher), an improvement to the Concorde’s 110’s (Close to the sound of thunder).

If this plane’s flights are successful, it could mean that the laws surrounding supersonic travel could be reworked to allow a less strict policy to make it much more accessible. This program’s cost is around 632 million dollars which might sound expensive. However, if newer and faster planes are built, thanks to this program, it could mean much faster travel worldwide for you and me.

The loud “boom” noise that is heard whenever a plane reaches a speed of Mach 1 is caused by waves of air that we call shockwaves. They happen when an object travels at sea level faster than 1234.8 km/h. This sound is similar to the sound of thunder although, it is quieter by a couple of decibels.

This plane’s engineering is pretty intelligent, it has a flat underside to ensure that most of the sound of the “boom” is directed upwards and not towards populated areas. It also has a particularly long nose which is meant to shape the shockwaves responsible for the loud sound into a shape that will make a much lower amount of disturbance to anyone under the plane when it reaches Mach 1(the speed of sound).

Supersonic travel has been a dream for pilots and engineers for years before it was even achieved in 1947 and we are yet to have mastered it, however, with the emergence of programs such as the X-59, we could have much better control over supersonic flight and maybe, even one day make it a worldwide standard of travel.

Although the Concorde wasn’t particularly successful and expensive (tickets could cost around 12,000 dollars), If supersonic travel is standardized, it could become the number 1 mode of transport for intercontinental flights and be much cheaper and more reliable than the Concorde.

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Émile Jacques, Copy Editor
Émile Jacques loves anything related to space, he is passionate about taking pictures of sunsets and the moon. He loves to go in nature and spend time with his friends and family. He is 15 years old and has been part of the English concentration since secondary 1. He is always there for his friends and he is also very polite.Finally he is also a very dedicated journalist and photographer.

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