Friday, 16 November, 2018

NASA to test their quiet supersonic aircraft tech over populated areas

NASA tests ‘quiet’ supersonic jet which will go from London to New York in three hours The plane is known as the X-59
Sandra Phillips | 04 July, 2018, 20:10

Ever wonder what NASA's quiet supersonic technology sounds like?

Why it matters: The results will help verify whether these thumps are quiet enough to avoid disturbing residential areas, and establish a testing process for the X-59.

Residents of Galveston, Texas will serve as "sonic thump" guinea pigs.

Part of the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration mission, the X-59 is shaped so that supersonic shockwaves do not coalesce together to create the characteristic sonic booms, which prompted the government to ban supersonic flight over land years ago. Diving at the speed of sound, the jets will produce two types of sonic booms that'll help NASA determine their sound profile at the ground level.

In the past, the Anglo-French-designed Concorde's jet was taken out of service in 2003 due to disruptive sound waves.

According to NASA, Galveston was chosen as the testing area as it is located near the Gulf of Mexico, allowing the fighter jets keep louder sonic booms out to sea, while hurling quieter sonic "thumps" into the city.

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Lockheed Martin was to collaborate with NASA for this project and now, reports have emerged saying that by November, flight tests will be conducted over a populated region in Texas to test how silent the aircraft turned out to be.

The first flight test is built according to this technology, aircraft X-59 is scheduled for 2021. The tests will be held by the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft around the coaster city of Galveston. "But the airplane's shape is carefully tailored such that those shockwaves do not combine".

The most recent age of commercial supersonic air travel began in 1976 with the Concorde, an aircraft operated by British Airways and Air France.

To counter this noise problem, the space agency has been hard at work since 2016 in building the X-59, an aeroplane that can fly over Mach 1 or break the sound barrier, but not produce any loud, booming sounds.

Japan Airlines invested $10 million into Boom Technologies, a Denver-based start-up that also hopes to revive supersonic air travel in the next decade.

"This is why the F/A-18 is so important to us as a tool", Haering said.

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