Technowize Magazine - - Trend Spotting -

in the 1950s and ‘60s, Amer­i­cans filed close to 40,000 claims against the Air Force, whose supersonic jets had be­come a daily night­mare. in 1973, the FAA banned over­land supersonic com­mer­cial flights due to sonic booms, which to this day, hasn’t been lifted.

The laws of at­mo­spheric physics dic­tate that no mat­ter how a supersonic ve­hi­cle is shaped or pro­pelled it will gen­er­ate a sonic boom when it ex­ceeds the speed of sound. Thanks to NASA and a team led by Lockheed Martin, low-sonic-boom X-plane might soon be­come a break­through de­fy­ing this laws. The team is work­ing on the goal of a vi­able low-sonic-boom com­mer­cial travel jet.

Michael buo­nanno, chief en­gi­neer for NASA’S Quiet Supersonic Tech­nol­ogy (QUESST) X-plane pro­gram, said the foun­da­tion was laid from 2010 to 2013 with the N+2 Supersonic Val­i­da­tions Pro­gram. “We worked with NASA to de­velop the nec­es­sary de­sign tools and ex­per­i­men­tal tech­niques to ac­cu­rately shape the ve­hi­cle so that its sonic-boom sig­na­ture will be per­ceived as a sonic heart­beat sound rather than the typ­i­cal loud dou­ble-bang that today’s supersonic air­craft pro­duce,” buo­nanno said.

“We have got to the point where we think a flight demon­stra­tor is the right next step,” says Peter Coen, man­ager of NASA’S High Speed Pro­ject with the agency’s Aero­nau­tics Re­search Mis­sion Direc­torate’s Fun­da­men­tal Aero­nau­tics Pro­gram. “On the whole, our work has showed there is a path for­ward to an en­vi­ron­men­tally ac­cept­able supersonic air­craft, and it has gen­er­ated such a lot

of ex­cite­ment within NASA that we are ready to take the next step. What does that step look like? We think a low-boom flight demon­stra­tor is the way to go for­ward. it is the right thing for u.s. aero­space lead­er­ship and for de­vel­op­ing the mar­ket for supersonic flight.”

The N+2 Supersonic holds the se­cret to quiet supersonic com­mer­cial travel. it’s a part of NASA’S 10-year New Avi­a­tion Hori­zons ini­ti­a­tions which aims to re­duce fuel use, emis­sions and noise through break­throughs in air­craft de­sign that de­parts from the con­ven­tional tube-and-wing air­craft shape.

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