Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: NASA/Maria Werries

NASA will publicly test quiet supersonic technology in November

Galveston residents should hear sonic thumps, not booms.
757 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

You won't have to wonder what NASA's quiet supersonic technology sounds like in person -- if you live in the right part of Texas, that is. The administration plans to conduct a series of public tests around the coastal city of Galveston in November. The F/A-18 Hornet aircraft at the heart of the tests will perform dive maneuvers that produce louder sonic booms out at sea, while quieter sonic "thumps" will take place over Galveston proper. After that, "at least" 500 local volunteers will provide feedback on what they heard, while audio sensors will provide more definitive noise readings.

Officials hope the Hornet tests will gauge the sonic boom levels that everyday residents deem acceptable. That, in turn, will help NASA's X-59 supersonic jet team verify their noise level theories while they're still constructing the aircraft. Just don't expect to see the X-59 itself flying overhead any time soon -- the X-59 isn't expected to start flight testing until 2021, and community overflights won't happen until 2023. Think of the Galveston test as more of a peek at the future of air travel rather than a sign that more supersonic flights are right around the corner.

If you want a preview, skip to the 43-second mark in the video below for a regular boom, and 2:34 for the quieter thumps.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
757 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Disney+ public pre-orders are open, but without deep bundle discounts

Disney+ public pre-orders are open, but without deep bundle discounts

View
Facebook's Libra currency will get half its backing from the US dollar

Facebook's Libra currency will get half its backing from the US dollar

View
AMD delays 16-core Ryzen 9 CPU to November

AMD delays 16-core Ryzen 9 CPU to November

View
Erica's modular synth helps you make music with preset cards

Erica's modular synth helps you make music with preset cards

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr