Back to Squawk list
  • 12

NASA Poised to Break Sound Barrier in New Way

Seventy-five years ago, a sonic boom thundered for the first time over the high desert of California. On the ground below, it has been written, a small group of researchers from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) – NASA’s predecessor organization – were the first to hear the thunder crack coming from the Bell X-1 rocket plane flying faster than the speed of sound. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Alan Macdonald 5
Quote - "“We’ve kind of been stuck with our airliners at about Mach .8 for the past almost 50 years, so being able to get there – wherever there is – much faster is still kind of an unfulfilled dream,” said Peter Coen, NASA’s mission integration manager for Quesst.
Guess being American this guy never heard of Concorde ! He seems to have suffered a 27 year mental block.
Torsten Hoff 6
The problem NASA is trying to solve isn’t breaking the sound barrier, but doing so in a way that allows the aircraft to operate over populated areas. The Concorde was never allowed to break the sound barrier over the continental US, which is the goal for the Quest.
Rico van Dijk 5
The word here is ‘allowed’ Concorde was plagued by many rules, supersonic over land being only one of them. That’s not something technology can solve but only politicians. Since Concorde wasn’t American, there was no motivation to make it easier for supersonic operators to operate.
tom239 3
I live in the desert Southwest of the USA, in an area where the military conducts training and test flights. Their rules prohibit pilots from going supersonic in my area but yet they do sometimes. Thunder is mild and gentle compared to a sonic boom.
Brian Johnson 1
SST was American. It wouldn't have been allowed either. Supersonic commercial flights were and always will be a financial failure.
paul trubits 1
Ever heard a sonic boom?
Rico van Dijk 0
I’m not some child..
btweston 1
This made me chuckle.

bbabis 2
The Bell X-1 deserves all its acclaim but was not the first aircraft through the speed of sound. It was however the first aircraft documented to have done it in level flight and with all the test equipment it carried it answered many questions in the area between subsonic and transonic flight.
Dean Brossman 2
As a kid in the 60s, we heard them all the time. I never thought of them as annoying. The jets were always very high and the boom was fairly muted. I know they can be VERY loud if you are closer.
Hal Gates 1
I grew up in northern Florida, and I remember the Space Shuttle gave us a boom kind of like that after one mission. Kid me was very excited.
Adigun Samuel 0
But 70years ago BOEING was invented
Adigun Samuel 0
70years ago BOEING 747 was invented


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.