NASA Aims to Stifle the Sonic Boom

Researchers experiment with quieter ways to smash the sound barrier
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 7:44 AM CST

(Newser) – NASA scientists are trying to mute the ear-splitting boom caused by supersonic flight into more of a sonic rumble, Wired reports. Researchers using modified F-15 jets have been experimenting with different wing shapes to spread out shock waves from breaking the sound barrier so they sound more like thunder than the telltale boom; they predict a quieter supersonic plane could be airborne within 5 years.

"Big picture: We want to learn how to build a plane with a low sonic boom," NASA's project manager says. "Understanding shock waves is going to help get us there." Public opposition to sonic booms was one of the reasons supersonic travel never really took off in the US; NASA's work could help make a 2.5-hour trip from LA to New York a reality.
(Read more NASA stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X