Collins Gets More Work On NASA’s Supersonic X-59

Collins Aerospace has extended its involvement in the X-59, a technology demonstrator being developed by Lockheed Martin for NASA.

Already a part of the program as avionics supplier, Collins now has been contracted to provide temperature and pressure controls for both pilot and equipment on board, and is to use an out-of-autoclave process to manufacture flight-control surfaces for the aircraft.  

The X-59 program is designed to collect data from which an acceptable level of noise from supersonic flights over land can be set. The aircraft is being designed to create a sonic boom that, at ground level, will be no louder than a car door being closed. The aircraft will cruise at 55,000 ft. at around 940 mph (approximately Mach 1.2). 

The environmental controls Collins will be supplying consist of the engine bleed air system, an air-conditioning system and a cockpit pressure-control system. Versions of these systems are already in use on multiple military and civilian platforms, and Collins argues that utilization of proven technology will help Lockheed reduce the X-59’s development timescale.  

Control surfaces to be supplied include the flaps, ailerons and rudder. Collins says their manufacturing plan will meet Lockheed’s schedule and prove cost-effective.  

—Angus Batey, angus@angusbatey.co.uk


 

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