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.