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NASA To Demonstrate Sonic 'Thump' Compared To Standard Sonic Boom

Event To Take Place May 31 At Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA is planning a comparative demonstration of the currently louder sonic boom to a quieter, more community-friendly sonic "thump", which NASA looks to achieve through an experimental aircraft for Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST).

The May 31 event beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT will be held at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, where manned supersonic flight was first achieved in 1947.

The event will feature supersonic flyovers by a NASA F/A-18 'Hornet' aircraft. The jet will produce a conventional, largely audible sonic boom, followed by another pass, in which it will perform a special dive maneuver, demonstrating a quieter "thump" in place of the boom. The quieter thump is closely similar to what NASA engineers believe supersonic flight may sound like through QueSST.

The disruptive sonic boom is the primary cause for the FAA's restriction on supersonic flight over land. NASA's efforts in QueSST may open the future to supersonic aviation on a commercial level.

In addition to the supersonic demonstration, NASA will feature presentations from Commercial Supersonic Technology program managers.

Following the supersonic portion of the event, NASA Armstrong will then showcase current efforts to safely integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System (UAS-NAS).

(Images provided with NASA news release. Top: Shockwaves produced by a U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School T-38 aircraft in supersonic flight are captured by NASA researchers using a special filter and camera on the ground. Bottom: NASA's Ikhana is being used for the development of regulations to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System)

FMI: www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong

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