In a move that could help pave the way for low-boom supersonic flight over land, NASA aeronautics researchers are presenting their work on how people on the ground perceive low sonic booms this week in Atlanta at an annual event held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Lessening sonic booms is the most significant hurdle to [civil] supersonic flight,” said Peter Coen, head of the high-speed project in NASA’s aeronautics research mission directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The supersonic business jet development program continues at Gulfstream Aerospace, but until the FAA decides to define “quiet” as it relates to the so-called sonic boom, “We just don’t see a business case,” said a spokesman.
In a series of patent filings last summer, Gulfstream emphasized mitigating the noise produced by the sonic boom, pointing out that regulations currently prohibit supersonic flight over populated areas.
Reductions in supersonic boom intensity could allow for overland operation of future supersonic civil aircraft, according to a panel of supersonic technology experts at a meeting held on March 1 in Palm Springs, Calif. The session was part of the UC Davis Aviation Noise & Air Quality Symposium.
NASA and Gulfstream last month wrapped up six weeks of flight testing at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB in California aimed at proving whether pilots can use high-definition video cameras and LCD monitors to take off and land a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) in lieu of natural forward vision.
Hopeful manufacturers of supersonic business jets–Aerion, Gulfstream and Supersonic Aerospace International–are encouraged by an updated FAA policy statement issued last week to align noise limits for future civil supersonic aircraft with current Stage 4 noise regulations.
It is almost five years since the Concorde retired, but little has been achieved in terms of replacing the world’s most iconic commercial aircraft.
Recent news reports that Gulfstream plans to build a prototype supersonic business jet (SSBJ) by 2013 are inaccurate, according to a company spokesman. “We’re still doing basic research on sonic boom suppression,” he said.
Gulfstream Aerospace hosted a NASA F-15 in Savannah, Ga., on February 14 for an aerial demonstration of its Quite Spike telescopic nose spike installation. If Gulfstream were ever to decide to launch a supersonic business jet, it would have to employ some means of suppressing the sonic boom while flying over land.
Gulfstream Aerospace President Bryan Moss made his company’s position on supersonic business jets clear at a Paris press conference yesterday when he said, “If you want to get me fired, just report that Gulfstream is developing a supersonic business jet.”
After a whole lot of fanfare two years ago, when the Aerion and Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) quiet supersonic business jet (SSBJ) concepts were first announced at the 2004 NBAA Convention, work continues on the development of these and other supersonic business jet designs, albeit more quietly.
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