Assembly of the X-59, the first purpose-designed piloted NASA aeronautics research X-plane since the X-31 nearly 30 years ago, is getting underway inside the cavernous Lockheed Martin Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California. Although only the first few sections of aluminum wing spars and keel beam have so far been loaded into the jigs, the outline of the assembly support structure reveals how the slender planform of the highly swept aircraft will eventually look. With a stiletto-like ...

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