Monday, June 16, 2008

Sonic Booms

Listening for the thunder after the lightning flashes tonight, the sound was confused by a jet aircraft going by. It occurred to me that I have not heard a sonic boom for years. We used to hear them regularly when I was a lad. I imagine they have been declared an annoyance and are not allowed over inhabited areas. Or something.


Unknown said...

In general, civil aircraft (ie. Concorde) are not allowed to exceed Mach 1 over land. I think the Air Force has tired of paying out claims for broken windows and has a policy of only allowing supersonic flight out over the ocean or within certain restricted areas.

Anonymous said...

They were banned a long time ago, which is why the SSTs do not fly in America

David Foster said...

There are a couple of bizjets under development that are said to have a greatly-reduced sonic boom, and I'm sure the manufacturers are hoping for approval to fly over the US....however, IIRC the Federal Aviation Regulations on this point are stated in terms of speed, not noise level, so they'll have to try & get an amendment...which should be politically interesting.