Two Wichita-based general aviation manufacturers are participating in research projects studying how to lessen the window-rattling sonic booms created by supersonic flight.
Four industry teams each received $1 million for a five-month study that NASA will use to set the specification and design requirements for a low sonic boom aircraft.
The teams include solo endeavors by Raytheon and Boeing's Phantom Works. Cessna has teamed up with Lockheed Martin. The fourth team is a partnership between Northrup Grumman and Gulfstream.
Loud sonic booms restricted the now-retired Concorde supersonic transport to trans-Atlantic routes between the United States and Europe and hurt the economic viability of the aircraft.
The aviation industry is looking for technology that will lessen sonic booms so that future supersonic civilian aircraft can fly over populated areas.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed by United Press International
Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft