NASA aims to cut flight times with supersonic technology

NASA aims to cut flight times with supersonic technology

Ground-level disturbances like cracked plaster and shattered windows have kept supersonic travel almost off-limits since 1973, when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned its use.

However, that may change soon as NASA has announced a plan for construction of a demo model of a supersonic plane that would be able to reduce the sonic boom to a negligible hum.

The U.S. space agency has already successfully tested a smaller-scale model of the desired plane in a wind tunnel near the end of June. The agency claims that it should be able to cut the 6-hour flight time from New York to Los Angeles to 3 hours.

Ed Haering, principal investigator at Armstrong for SonicBAT, said residents near the area of Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station shouldn’t be worried when they hear the blasts during the upcoming test flights of the prototype plane.

Speaking on the topic, he said, “At the altitudes we are flying, sonic booms from aircraft have never been dangerous to people, animals or buildings, but they can be startling.”

NASA has plans to spend $390 million over five years to build and test the demo plane. The first year of funding for the project is included in President Donald’s Trump’s 2018 budget proposal.