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NASA is to end the 50-year ban on supersonic flights over land in the U.S.

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NASA is working on ending the 50-year ban on civilian supersonic aircraft over land in the United States. This move could open up new commercial cargo and passenger markets and dramatically reduce travel time. (www.airguide.info) More...

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donreilly
Don Reilly 8
Here on the Space Coast of Florida we look forward to sonic booms.
wb6csh7
Michael Hamann 15
Personally, I would prefer a nation-wide ban on the loud automobile/motorcycle/truck exhausts I have to endure. I'll take a (moderate) sonic boom any day!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -4
There is nothing moderate about a sonic boom.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 5
Depends on how high the plane is.
jswhitford
John Whitford 1
I was in high school in OKC when the sonic boom testing was happening. It got very routine.
Budlake
Mike Monk 7
Good, dust the cobwebbs off Concorde and lets get flying! :-)
captainfourbars
captainfourbars 19
That ban was only brought in out of 'sour grapes' because The Anglo-French Concorde beat the USA to it. The world's first turbo-prop airliner (Vickers Viscount - British) the world's first turbojet airliner (De-Havilland Comet - British) then this. A significant proportion of the paying passengers on the Concorde were Americans, nevertheless and it also taught the industry on BOTH sides of the Atlantic a great deal about supersonic flight. And amazingly, perhaps, Concorde was designed entirely with pencils and rulers. Not a hint of computerisation was employed back then. A true marvel of man's ingenuity.
PA32R300
W B johnson 6
The Concorde made its first flight in 1969, its first transAtlantic crossing in 1973, and its first scheduled passenger service in 1975. The ban on supersonic flight substantially preceded all that, and was in effect when I was flying T-38's in 1971. We could go supersonic for training, but only in certain areas and with prior permission. Don't think we can simply blame the Concorde for that ban. I think it more due to the disruptive booms and broken glass that we military types enjoyed creating.
captainfourbars
Except of course, Concorde did not appear from scratch overnight and Boeing's SST project was known to be doomed for a long time so the ban was brought in in the knowledge that the USA was out of (lost?) the race. As for the sonic boom argument, that too is a red-herring. The routes flown supersonically over populated areas would have been effectively NIL, helped enormously by the great circle routes to and from the USA, west and east.
thomafrancl
Thomas Francl 13
Back when they were testing sonic booms, they set up a hot line for residents to report damage to their home due to the testing. So, this guy calls in and reports that his picture window got cracked, and the govt. should pay to replace it.

The operator replied that the testing wouldn't begin until the following week. The guys response? OK, I'll call back next week.
NF2G
David Stark 4
Apparently not many people are familiar with NASA's sonic boom reduction research.
ghstark
Greg S 4
These are not going to be your father's sonic booms. This will not be a problem because the whole point of this is to not be a problem.
Bokhans
Hans Björkman 6
Cargo by supersonic. Now we talking. Amazon shipping from China in hours. 🤦‍♂️
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 4
Sure ... that's what we need ... more encouragement to send China even more of our manufacturing.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 5
Turn on your humor meter. It was an obvious joke.
schottel
Jimmy Schottel 3
Air Force used to do supersonic bombing practice runs over the University I attended. You could see the windows follow the boom when they went over.
yr2012
matt jensen 7
Great grandson lives in military testing zone in central Georgia. Booms every day rattle the windows and bother humans outside as well.
RECOR10
RECOR10 5
If that is his biggest concern in life, I need to move to GA. For instance, in the Gun Free zone called Chicago we get booms all day every day from the "mostly peaceful" hoodlums who need their repurashunz.
linbb
linbb 5
This is not going to work well unless there is no increased noise beyond current AC at cruising altitude. Have lived around sonic booms in the past and is disruptive.
awinn
Alan Winn 5
what is the boom like? I have only experienced Concorde taking off at JFK and its afterburners blasts, very loud and lots of pressure if you are standing on the runway grass.
jimprevo
Jim Prevo 11
I grew up in the 1960s when it was still common to hear sonic booms in the USA.. I recall them sounding like a thunderclap at a moderate distance. We would hear one and remark about it between us kids when we were playing outside.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 11
I grew up in West Germany (before the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic united), and lived in a low-level flight training corridor. In addition to the low-flying aircraft passing over our village, sonic booms from military aircraft at higher altitudes were pretty much a daily occurrence.

I don't remember them being much of a nuisance. Probably not something you would want to have happen while you're trying to sleep, but really not a big deal.

The closest thing to that has been the now-retired Space Shuttle landing in the California desert. It always announced itself with a double-boom (just like some of the aircraft of my childhood did).
sbartelski
Actually, SpaceX Falcon 9's first stage also arrives with a boom, normally only audible when they do a landing back at the launch site.
dee9bee
dee9bee 7
I live about 75 miles east of the Nellis test range. From here in southwest Utah, it sounds like distant thunder.
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 2
See https://www.nytimes.com/1970/09/02/archives/the-concorde-flies-over-populated-areas.html
shenghaohan
Shenghao Han 2
The article seems a bit way too optimistic on the impact considering the largest supersonic thing flying today is a Russian Bomber...
The original ban is not a purely political move to ban Concord sales, but a reasonable one. Even if humans can get used to about it, what about animals? I'm not talking about wolves or coyotes, but cows and chickens, which have documented instance of reduce milk and egg production in presence of sonic boom.
*Don't forget Sonic Boom is not a single localized boom like a gun shot, it goes along the flight path.
crchall
Chuck Chall 5
I'm old enough to have lived when sonic booms were fairly commonplace. I don't remember any shortage of eggs or milk. They were no worse than a thunder clap and happened less often. Usually quieter than most thunder also. They're only going to be doing Mach + at very high altitudes.
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 1
I am also old enough to have lived when sonic booms were fairly common and I remember them being irritating. At least as much as loud firecrackers. It is probably an exaggeration to say they reduce milk and egg production but I think it is likely they would scare animals that do not understand what is happening.
mreek
Mike Brady 2
Considering the amount of gunfire that's common at some times in some cities, how would they know that it's a sonic boom? And in theory the changes are supposed to be due to new aircraft designs that produce less of a "boom" - more of a "moosh" - than the older stuff.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I've heard both ... and believe me ... they are nothing, absolutely nothing alike.
SamHobbs
Sam Hobbs 4
Do you know where there is documentation of a "documented instance"?
victorbravo77
victorbravo77 1
"...it goes along the flight path."

Absolutely correct. It is most certainly not a single point phenomenon.
kerimparrot
Mike Williams 1
In the past 5 or 10 years I remember the TV news report when a National Guard pilot got his jet aircraft to go supersonic and broke windows north of his base in Tucson, AZ. I missed the after report if the windows, etc. were fixed. That is what happens near any sort of military air base.
lwr
lwr 1
To all the naysayers: Look up "Gulfstream NASA Quiet Spike", and see what that does to the sonic "boom". Gulfstream has been working on a "Quiet Supersonic Jet" ("QSJ") for almost 2 decades. I'll bet the G-900 will be supersonic, and it's not that far away...
kerimparrot
Mike Williams 1
In the past 5 or 10 years I remember the TV news report when a National Guard pilot got his jet aircraft to go supersonic and broke windows north of his base here in Tucson, AZ. I missed the after report if the windows, etc. were fixed. That is what happens near any sort of military air base.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
A lot of the comments here reference their experience with sonic booms as "distant thunder" and the like. It's important to note your location in relation to where the event occurred. I lived in a Chicago suburb in the 60s and it was nerve-shatteringly, joltingly sudden and loud. About this article ... it strikes me as click-bait...the headline leads one to see it's a given the ban is ending, when the article time and again uses the word "could".
anav8r
Oh, yeah!
There is ALWAYS a a conspiracy, eh, Patrick...?
sftravel415
John Carpenter 1
Thank you for a little history lesson. Similar to NASA’s first sub-orbital flights engineered by black female mathematicians. Human ingenuity.
NorthwestPhotography
Looking forward to it!
JohnLevy
John Levy 1
So now Concorde is defunct we now can allow Supersonic commercial flights (not protectionism I don't think)
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
It will be great for the Window Manufacturers and Installers... Will have plenty of work out there.
tonyevans1
tony evans 1
Everything will be fine when Boeing re- engineer the concord. It was only grounded post 9/11 because the US military could not catch it in sustained flight.
fredbrillo111
Fred B Rillo 4
You're not serious!
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
Please explain what you meant by “catching it in sustained flight”.
1mooneymite
1mooneymite 1
Oh, good! Now I can go as fast as I want in my C-150.
victorbravo77
victorbravo77 2
No, there are still structural/airframe issues.

LOL! Good one; laughed out loud!
bt1104053
Bob Turner 1
O Goody!! Back to the good old days where the house shakes and everyone is running outside to see where the explosion came from. With all the new technology nowadays I bet there will be alarms going off too. Looks like some real progress here.
LeftlySC
Stephen Leftly 1
Sadly supersonic flight is an environmental disaster from a climate change perspective. Probably at least 3 or 4 times worse than regular aviation per passenger mile.

It is going to be hard enough to deal with zero-carbon subsonic fleet......
patpylot
patrick baker 0
the aviation world could use some new physics, that allows for sonic booms but not so bombastic. Special interests, the real undercover boss of the federal government is having its say. Quality of life for the rest of us.
wiskijan
Dan Golembeski 0
Constant loud, oil-driven noise (think leafblowers) is part of humanity's battle against itself that simply drives people to more and more ways of escapism (think drugs, thrill-seeking, and end of life). Planes can be good, in moderation. Leafblowers, and sonic-booms, probably uselss. Reasonableness means moderation, and even banning some things. Getting there faster does not a better life make.
ksmotrys
Ken Smotrys 0
Just put an extra large catalytic converter on them. That should do the trick. And an extra absorbent diaper on Brandon.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
Even though those sonic booms took place at 3:00PM each day, even though we were forewarned, they truly were stress inducing. I remember feeling quite silly about it, but I couldn't deny I felt truly shook to my core each and every time one sounded. Some items in our house did, indeed, rattle around a bit. I had an infant at the time and daily it would scare the living hell out of him and wake him from his afternoon nap. This industry may very well look forward to supersonic flights over America again, I can't imagine it being a routine experience.
DRotten
D Rotten 0
'They' need to do this so that 'they' can fly their 'UFOs' for the upcoming (FAKE) 'Alien Invasion' PsyOp. 'We' have had this 'UFO Tech' for DECADES now. Now?.....they're going to let YOU SEE THEM. (ie Rolling Out the Tech)
AnnaGray
Anna Gray -3
Both my caregiver (Class 1 ASD) and I (Class 3 ASD) were driven to suicide by aircraft noise produced by Ronald Reagan National Airport and military bases including Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Fort Myers, and Andrews Air Base. We both are noise sensitive Autistic people. I start hearing at a negative 18 Db and have hearing range of 1 mile. Loud noise causes us not only unbearable pain but also convulsions, seizures, and heart failure. Now Nasa wants to fly even louder planes over us. Is there no end to evil of loud neurotypical people???

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