The traveling public is very frustrated with long flight times, and is more than ready for supersonic transports. NASA and many other organizations have been studying supersonic flight ever since the sound barrier was broken for the first time in 1947, but the loud sonic booms have prevented wide-spread development of supersonic transport aircraft. Now, with much-improved airplane design technology, NASA and its industry partners have learned how to reshape airplanes for quieter sonic booms.
A low-boom flight demonstrator aircraft, dubbed by NASA as the X-59, will be flying in 2021 with the express purpose of demonstrating what we hope will be a sonic “thump,” and thereby convince the FAA and ICAO to rewrite the rules to allow supersonic over-land flight. Don Durston is an aerospace engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, and is part of a team of people who are investigating quiet sonic boom technology.
In this seminar, Don will discuss what a sonic boom is (there are many misconceptions about it), and what NASA is doing through computational studies, wind tunnel tests, and flight tests to reduce the loudness of sonic booms. Come hear a talk about the work being done now to enable you to soon fly across the country in about three hours!