Supersonic aircraft are slender, to minimize wave drag, but design for low sonic boom takes slenderness to a new extreme. NASA’s X-59 QueSST low-boom flight demonstrator has a wingspan of just 29.5 ft. but is 96.7 ft. long. And half that length is the nose, which is carefully shaped to control the shockwaves but completely blocks the pilot’s forward visibility. The Concorde supersonic airliner overcame the problem with a droop nose that was articulated downward to improve ...

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