Propelling the Future of Supersonic Travel with Critical Subsystems 

[Huntington Beach, CA, March 18, 2024] Karman Space & Defense (“Karman”) proudly announces its pivotal role as a key subsystems supplier for Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ groundbreaking supersonic aircraft, developed in partnership with NASA’s Quesst Mission.

NASA’s debut of the X-59 supersonic aircraft marks a significant step forward in aerospace innovation. This groundbreaking aircraft is being utilized for gathering data to achieve quiet supersonic flight characteristics. NASA and Lockheed Martin collaborated to achieve this milestone, the X-59 is expected to fly at 1.4 times the speed of sound, or 925 mph. Its design, shape, and technologies will allow the aircraft to achieve these speeds while generating a quieter sonic thump. The X-59 is scheduled to take flight this year. Once fully operational and tested, NASA plans to fly the aircraft over select U.S. cities in 2026 and gather feedback from the public on the sound it produces. This data will help NASA provide regulators with the information needed to establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard and to lift the ban on commercial supersonic travel over land.

Karman Space & Defense delivers concept-to-production solutions for the most complex challenges facing space and defense missions. On the X-59 project, Karman’s significant contributions included control surfaces, T-tails, and bulkheads. Furthermore, Karman also supplied forebody keels and frames, canopy fairings, spars, skins, and stiffeners. These are just examples of the many solutions provided by Karman Space & Defense, underscoring their unparalleled production capabilities and trusted technologies to support essential missions.

“We are thrilled to be part of NASA’s efforts to pioneer quiet supersonic flight with the X-59 aircraft. Karman’s ability to provide subsystems and technologies was instrumental in delivering the best solutions and contributions to this transformative endeavor. This program highlights our dedication to pushing the boundaries of aerospace innovation,” commented Stephanie Sawhill, Chief Business Development Officer.

About Karman Space & Defense  

Karman Space & Defense is a concept-to-production solutions provider for the space and defense industry’s most complex and mission-critical systems, including crewed space flight and hypersonic missions. Headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA, with facilities in Washington, Alabama, and Washington DC, Karman brings together industry-leading capabilities, advanced technologies, and proven multi-decade experience. For more information, visit our website

Nadia Cordova
Marketing Assistant