NASA will publicly test quiet supersonic technology in November
Officials hope the Hornet tests will gauge the sonic boom levels that everyday residents deem acceptable. That, in turn, will help NASA’s X-59 supersonic jet team verify their noise level theories while they’re still constructing the aircraft. Just don’t expect to see the X-59 itself flying overhead any time soon — the X-59 isn’t expected to start flight testing until 2021, and community overflights won’t happen until 2023. Think of the Galveston test as more of a peek at the future of air travel rather than a sign that more supersonic flights are right around the corner.
If you want a preview, skip to the 43-second mark in the video below for a regular boom, and 2:34 for the quieter thumps.