Supersonic air travel to make a comeback?

Last Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 20:34

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: If NASA`s efforts are successful,then we can soon witness the comeback of supersonic passenger travel.

NASA is trying to define a new standard for low sonic booms for which sufficient research has been done.

Peter Coen, head of the "High Speed Project" in NASA`s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, informed that "Lessening sonic booms - shock waves caused by an aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound - is the most significant hurdle to reintroducing commercial supersonic flight."

Apart from it, there are other barriers like high altitude emissions, fuel efficiency and community noise around airports.
NASA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the international aerospace community have been working together to develop new procedures that may help in a reconsideration of the current ban on supersonic flights over land, the statement said.

NASA F/A-18 mission support aircraft were used to create low intensity sonic booms during a research project at its Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, recently.

The Waveforms and Sonic boom Perception and Response (WSPR) project collected data from a group of over 100 Edwards Air Force Base residents about their opinion on sonic booms produced by aircraft in supersonic flight over Edwards.

"Engineers at centres in California, Ohio and Virginia are tackling sonic booms from a number of angles, including how to design a low-boom aircraft and characterise the noise," the statement read.

Researchers have also studied how to quantify the loudness and annoyance of the boom by asking people to listen to the sounds in a specially designed noise test chamber.
NASA aeronautics researchers are set to present their work in Atlanta this week at "Aviation 2014", an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 19:39

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