Future Supersonic Aircraft With No Sonic Boom – Noise Cancelling or Noise Suppression?

Well, over the last few months I have returned to the subject of silent flying aircraft. Back in 2000, I hypothesized many different strategies for creating aircraft which make no noise – even jet aircraft which could cancel out a sonic boom, and prevent any of the jet turbine noise from waking people up as they took off over the city. This future reality is coming to fruition very soon, that is to say future supersonic aircraft with no sonic boom. Indeed I’d like to discuss this with you for a moment if you have the time.

Recently, there was an interesting piece on this topic, as Gizmag online had a cool feature recently titled; “Futuristic Biplane Design Eliminates Sonic Boom,” by James Holloway, published on March 19, 2012. The article with artist’s conceptions stated;

“A first boom is caused by the rapid compression of air at the front of the plane, literally pushed together by the aircraft. A second is caused by the negative pressure left in the plane’s wake – or rather, the rapid return to normal pressure that follows soon after. Though the two booms separate phenomena, they occur so close together that they are usually perceived as a single sound. An aircraft in supersonic flight creates a continual boom as it goes.”

If you go to the MIT Media website and search for this press release: “A biplane to break the sound barrier – Cheaper, quieter and fuel-efficient biplanes could put supersonic travel on the horizon,” by Jenifer Chu published on March 15, 2012 you can read all about it.

Well, a dual swept flying winged biplane which was properly aerodynamically configured could indeed accomplish this. It’s not that the sonic boom would go away rather it’s that the sonic boom could not escape, and that sound could not travel to other people in ear shot. Would it costs too much to build an aircraft like this; perhaps not because instead of one large wing, it would have two smaller ones. In fact, it is a decent design for efficiency on the flight ramp due to its short wing span, and if scaled down, it might even make a nice little fighter aircraft. Scaled up of course, it can be used for a corporate business jet or even an airliner. Perhaps even in an air cargo aircraft configuration.

There seems to be many ways to solve this problem of trapping a sonic boom, or using noise canceling strategies. This is merely one, and although this aircraft may never be built, it does include some rather ingenious and creative thinking. Perhaps one should be built, or several as prototypes for no other reason than to see what we can learn. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

The Rise and Rise of the Sonic Logo

A logo is not a brand, but it has an important role to play in branding: it instantly represents the brand’s character, introducing us if we’re not acquainted or reminding us if we’re old friends. A logo is like a photograph – not the real thing, but a good reminder. Logos have been so effective that every company has at least one – which is where the problems begin.

I call the problem ‘over messaging’. Each of us now encounters a staggering 30,000 commercial messages every single day, and the vast majority of them are visual. This means that for the next few years at least, sonic logos – by which I mean short sonic mnemonics that are the exact audio counterparts of the visual logo – are going to be worth considering simply because they are relatively rare and can thus act as powerful differentiators. However there’s more to sonic logos than curiosity value alone: used wisely, they work exceptionally well. The also go back much further than you might think.

Sonic logos have actually been around for hundreds of years: street calling used to be the main way tradesmen advertised their services, as wonderfully romanticised in the film Oliver. It’s only a few decades since that practice ended: I can remember the ‘rag-and-bone’ man’s mournful shout of “anyoldiron?” from my childhood in London. The modern-day equivalent is the ice cream van: just watch the cathartic effect of its chimes on surrounding buildings on a hot summer’s day to see the potency of sonic logos deployed in the right place at the right time. Most ice cream chimes are generic, but in Sweden the Hemglass ice cream tune is a universally known and loved sonic brand.

As soon as the advertising industry got sound to play with, it saw the potential of memorable music/voice combinations and the jingle and tagline were born. The dividing line between jingle or a tagline an a sonic logo is blurred. In general, jingles and taglines come and go with campaigns and rarely live for more than a few years. Even the most memorable usually get retired. “For hands that do dishes…”; “It’s the real thing”; these and many more once-mighty jingles or taglines are now languishing in retirement homes, though the brands are still very much with us today.

Some taglines have become sonic logos through sheer memorability. One in particular has outlasted entire generations of customers: Tony the tiger has been saying “they’re gr-r-r-r-reat!” since 1951. This is probably the longest-running sonic logo in the world, and it has now outlived its voice-over artist. Thurl Ravenscroft voiced many Disney characters but Tony was his greatest achievement. He was Tony’s voice for over 50 years until his death in 2005; today, Lee Marshall carries the baton.

Some of the most successful sonic logos have even been registered as trademarks: the roar of the MGM lion and the old NBC three-tone chime are two examples.

These examples notwithstanding, it wasn’t until the 1990s that sonic logos started to be taken really seriously and their use considered by many major brands. The sea change came with Intel. Its four-note sonic logo, composed by Austrian musician Walter Werzowa, has become one of the best-known sounds in the world, and has spearheaded Intel’s extraordinary success as a brand – given that this is a product nobody ever sees and nobody ever buys.

Today, sonic logos are more in play then ever before. UK insurance giant Direct Line has a sprightly bugle call, which speaks volumes about urgency, assistance and playfulness in just three seconds. Apple has its comforting, uplifting start-up sound, engineered in 1991 by Jim Reekes and still shipping 16 years later. (It is inexplicable that the mighty Microsoft has never seen the value of a single start-up sound; the sound of Windows has changed with every successive version of the software, so that now there is no sound of Windows. They may be learning through: huge amounts of time and money were invested in ‘a language of sounds’ for the Xbox 360.) Lufthansa has invested in a corporate sound, comprising four rising tones that are aimed to convey feelings of taking off and wellbeing. Siemens has recently added a seventh element to its branding: sound has now joined logo, claim, typeface, colours, layout and style as one of the basic building blocks of the Siemens brand. The company has created both an ‘audio signature’ (aka a sonic logo) and also some mood sound as part of its new palette. Even political parties are joining in: Wales’s Plaid Cymru has a short sonic logo to welcome you in peace and harmony to its website.

The evidence is that more and more major brands are creating a sonic logo as a matter of course. With the continuing rise of mobile devices (along with custom ring tones and downloaded digital sound) I believe we have not yet scratched the surface of the sonic logo.

Is it time your brand found its voice – before your competitors find theirs?

A Sonic Drive In Restaurants Franchise Review

The concept of Sonic Drive In Restaurants stands apart with a difference in experience of service the busy customers would love to enjoy. It is service poles apart from the customary belief that every customer wants to sit in cozy restaurants waiting for the order to be served. Sonic simply offers a break away from the belief and values convenience of the customers. Many would want to finish off eating without alighting from their cars.

It is a huge convenience for the customers’ craving for time to order in a drive-through line without a need to park the car and walk in. The Drive In Restaurants of Sonic have shades to stay under and enjoy their quick served hot and fresh meals.

A Successful Concept

The unprecedented growth of franchisees has proven the success of today’s customers. It is the unique value for their time to spend in doing something better than waiting for orders to be served in fanciful time consuming formal ways. The franchisees having got convinced with this concept, work with mental attitude attuned to the convenience of customers. There are a number of successful franchisees of Sonic Drive In restaurants since the time, the company started selling out franchises in 1959. It is the great success earned out of serving everyday known hamburgers and fries in the cars ordered from intercom.

Expansion For Franchise Base

Sonic Drive In Restaurants shows a consistent growth over the years adding about 500 franchises in just 3 years, from 2,493 in 2006 to 3,055 in 2009. They have now geared themselves up for opening up new franchises in about 30 states in the United States. The open offer includes franchising for exclusive territories.

Franchise Terms

Sonic is very particular about ensuring success of all of its units wherever it may be. That is the reason for company’s firm stand about an experience in running restaurants. If an interested franchisee does not have such an experience, there must be an operating equity partner. There is involvement of investment in equipment, inventory, startup expenses, staffing and the franchise fee. As such, the liquid cash requirement is pegged at $1,000,000 with equal figure as the net worth of the individual entrepreneurs. With these parameters of qualification, a franchise should be prepared for a total capital outlay of $710,000 to $3 million. The figures of investment are for setting up traditional Drive In restaurants. However, the investments are much on the lower side for non-traditional places like mall food courts, campus dining facilities, airports, hospital food courts and alike public places.

The franchise fee charged is $45,000 for a renewable agreement for 20 years, plus an extension of 10 years. They charge normal royalty fees between 4 to 5 percent, plus 5.9 percent towards advertisement.

Support Extended To The Franchises

The corporate management of Sonic Drive In Restaurants believes in comprehensive training of the franchises. They provide a 12-week training program comprising of 8 weeks for restaurant training and 3 weeks allocated to the store openings process. In the remaining one week, the training covers all aspects of general management skills and business development.

The company offers regional and national cable advertising. Exclusive ad and promotional supports come from specially designed radio and TV commercials, and promotional coupons for individual franchise.