On May 31, NASA hosted a Social event at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. Over 45 media guests were invited to the special event to learn more about research currently being conducted on supersonic flight and drones.
Supersonic flight discussions were centered on ways to soften the noise caused by sonic booms in order to make commercial supersonic travel possible. A typical sonic boom from an F/A-18 supersonic jet can reach upwards of 100 dB and can sound alarming even at a distance. Guests reported the sound was similar to fireworks or gunshots.
NASA and Lockheed Martin’s Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) demonstrator plane is expected to have a sonic room of 75 dB, which is comparable to the sound of a speeding car.A 1/20 scale QueSST model was also unveiled at the event. The exhibit model measures nearly 5 feet long (1.4 meters) and can be dynamically positioned on the base.
After the panel discussions, guests were treated to flight demonstrations which illustrated sonic booms at different decibel levels, including the 75 dB target the QueSST plane hopes to achieve.
More photos from the event can be found on NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Facebook page.