NASA’s Galveston test flights could lead to supersonic commercial travel in the future

NASA wants Americans to be able to travel faster, possibly faster than the speed of sound.

Imagine if you could fly from New York to Los Angeles in two hours. While NASA says this is possible with supersonic flight, it’s currently too loud.

With supersonic flight, an airplane causes the air around it to react with a shock wave, which is perceptible on the ground as a very loud sonic boom.

Because these noises can be disturbing to communities down below, NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project is working on a new test plane, the Low Boom Flight Demonstration X-plane, which will allow quieter supersonic flight.

NASA researchers hope their test flights and resulting community response can help lawmakers determine whether commercial passenger and cargo flights can reach supersonic speeds over land in the future.

 In November 2018, NASA will run a series of test flights with a different plane, creating the quieter sonic boom sound in the Galveston area with flights of the NASA F/A-18 aircraft.

The flights will take off from Ellington Airport in the Clear Lake area, and will feature a series of supersonic dive maneuvers off the coast, NASA said in a press release.

The test flights will help researchers determine how best to collect community response data from future supersonic flights of the piloted Low Boom Flight Demonstration X-plane, which is under construction now.

The X-plane is slated to begin testing of its supersonic technology in 2022. Community response test flights are planned for 2023 – 2025.

More information about November’s research flights with the F/A-18 aircraft will be released during a Tuesday press conference.

via NASA – Google News


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