From boom to thump: NASA works to create quieter, faster commercial flights

Test flights create sonic booms as part of research into quieter, faster commercial flights. (NBC News)

NASA has wrapped up a week of test flights that produced dozens of sonic booms over the Cape Canaveral area.

The sonic booms were produced as part of work to develop a quiet supersonic aircraft, which will produce a soft thump in place of the louder sonic boom.

NASA already has a potential design. The plane would likely create a quieter sort of sonic thump rather than a loud boom.

Sonic booms can be heard as the result of shockwaves created by aircraft flying through the atmosphere faster than the speed of sound.

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