Say hello to a supersonic plane with considerably less sonic boom

The design of the plane, made by Japan's space agency JAXA in cooperation with Sweden's Esrange Space Center, reduces shockwaves created during supersonic flight, resulting in a quieter sonic boom.

    2015/07/28

NSFW    TOKYO — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully tested an experimental supersonic aircraft that emits a quieter sonic boom.

The plane's design reduces shockwaves typically created during supersonic flight, resulting in a quieter sonic boom, according to Popular Mechanics.

In an experiment, the plane was dropped from a balloon at an altitude of 30 kilometers and reached supersonic speeds during free fall. The sonic boom data was collected via several aerial microphones attached to a blimp.

However, according to Popular Mechanics, it is unclear how the Japanese plane accomplishes this.

Sonic booms are created when shockwaves produced by an aircraft that has reached supersonic flight merge into a single sound.

The plane, flight tested by Japanese space agency JAXA, and reportedly built to specifications conceived by Sweden's Esrange Space Center, represents an attempt to rectify some of the issues faced by the world's first supersonic commercial jet, the Concorde, which had its European routes cancelled due to noise levels.

JAXA expects to release detailed data from the experiment in the near future.
JAXA's experimental plane is designed to reduce shockwaves so that it emits a quieter sonic boom. JAXA
JAXA's experimental plane is designed to reduce shockwaves so that it emits a quieter sonic boom. JAXA
The experiment was carried out in Sweden's Esrange Space Center on July 24th. JAXA
The experiment was carried out in Sweden's Esrange Space Center on July 24th. JAXA
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