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NASA is planning to test a new method to create a quiet supersonic technology, and it’s going to use the city of Galveston, Texas.
The name of the plane is Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator (LBFD). The aim of the tests is to decide just how loud NASA’s new quiet supersonic technology really is, and compare it to the sounds of a traditional sonic boom.
This November, onlookers will get to hear a so-called “quiet” sonic boom as a supersonic military jet zips through the skies of Galveston, Texas, according to NASA.
“We’ll never know exactly what everyone heard. We won’t have a noise monitor on their shoulder inside their home,” Alexandra Loubeau, NASA’s team lead for sonic boom community response research at Langley, Virginia, said in a statement. “But we’d like to at least have an estimate of the range of noise levels that they actually heard.”
“With the X-59, you’re still going to have multiple shock waves because of the wings on the aircraft that create lift and [because of] the volume of the plane,” Ed Haering, a NASA aerospace engineer at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, said in the statement. “But the airplane’s shape is carefully tailored such that those shock waves do not combine.”
If the tests go as scheduled, “instead of getting a loud boom-boom, you’re going to get at least two quiet thump-thump sounds, if you even hear them at all,” Haering said.
According to NASA The QueSST is going to launch by the end of 2021. And it isn’t planning to do community overflights with the QueSST until 2023, the agency said.
“This is why the F/A-18 is so important to us as a tool,” Haering said. “While construction continues on the X-59, we can use that diving maneuver to generate quiet sonic thumps over a specific area.”