Airborne: Rendering of X-59 over desert.

Airborne: Rendering of X-59 over desert.

For decades, the sound of sonic booms has been heard over the Antelope Valley from military jets and the Space Shuttle. 

But now, Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing at its top-secret Skunk Works plant in Palmdale an experimental aircraft that will minimize the noise created when it flies faster than the speed of sound.

The technology could revolutionize commercial aviation by cutting the flight time for long trips in half. And between Lockheed Martin and several subcontractors, the Valley region is the launching pad for this fledgling technology.

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