Gulfstream X-54

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X-54
Role Experimental aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace
Status In development
Number built 0

The Gulfstream X-54 is a proposed research and demonstration aircraft, under development in the United States by Gulfstream Aerospace for NASA, that is planned for use in sonic boom and supersonic transport research.

Design[edit]

Initiated during 2008, the X-54 project is intended to produce an experimental aircraft capable of supersonic speeds with a formed sonic boom that is acoustically shaped to mitigate noise pollution.[1] The X-54A is intended to demonstrate low-boom sonic effects in population impact studies in support of future supersonic transport design and regulation.[2] Current regulations prohibit supersonic flight over land areas in the United States; the X-54 is part of NASA's efforts to have the regulations altered to allow for supersonic transports to be commercially viable.[3]

NASA's X-54 project is intended to continue the research objectives of the DARPA Quiet Supersonic Aircraft,[4] and is intended to demonstrate low-boom technologies and methods validated by projects such as the NASA Quietspike project,[5] the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator,[6] FaINT Project,[7] and WSPR Project.[8] The X-54 will be designed from the ground up to incorporate all the technology and lessons learned from this combined NASA research spanning several decades into a viable aircraft capable of producing under 75 pdB on the ground while cruising over Mach 1.4 above 50,000 feet. The X-54 aircraft will demonstrate low-noise supersonic flight for use in community base testing to provide research data to reform domestic and international regulations on supersonic over-land flight.

Development[edit]

The X-54A was reported as being developed by Gulfstream Aerospace and is intended to be powered by two Rolls-Royce Tay turbofan engines.[1] The X-54A may be connected to Gulfstream's "Sonic Whisper" program, trademarked in 2005 as an aircraft design to "reduce boom intensities during supersonic flight;"[9] besides Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have also produced viable designs for commercial supersonic aircraft and all three companies are thought to be contenders in a competition for the X-54 demonstrator aircraft, however as of 2012 NASA lacked the funds to progress the project.[10]

Although Gulfstream has made little comment about the X-54A project,[9] at the 2008 National Business Aviation Association convention a Gulfstream executive stated that Gulfstream's work on advanced technologies for supersonic flight had been ongoing "for some time" and that a "complete airplane designed for low [sonic] boom" would possibly "have X-54 painted on the side of it."[11]

As of late 2012 there were indications that Gulfstream was close to announcing the design of a quiet supersonic business jet,[12] first drawings of which appeared in December 2012.[13]

Specifications (X-54A)[edit]

Data from Jane's[1]

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]