NASA X-Plane Concept: Sonic Thumps Instead of Booms (Video)

by: Joseph On  Thursday, April 5, 2018
Tags:  Airplanes   Jets   NASA   Supersonic Flight   X-Plane  

NASA X-Plane

I grew up in the suburbs at least an hour’s drive from the nearest international airport, so I guess I have a tendency to underrate the effect sonic booms had on the populace below. But they are a major reason that the Concorde ended up being shuttered, and now NASA is working on a plane concept that replaces the sonic boom with a “gentle thump.” It’s called the NASA X-Plane. Here’s an x-planation from NASA’s official press release about the plane’s contract being awarded to Lockheed Martin

“Beginning in mid-2022, NASA will fly the X-plane over select U.S. cities and collect data about community responses to the flights. This data set will be provided to U.S. and international regulators for their use in considering new sound-based rules regarding supersonic flight over land, which could enable new commercial cargo and passenger markets in faster-than-sound air travel.”

So if all goes according to plan, the NASA X-Plane will facilitate the return of supersonic travel, good news for any impatient travelers out there. NASA also released a video about their mission to “lower the boom,” an initiative which I’m assuming has the code name Project There Goes The Boom. Check it out, with the volume turned down, please:

 





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