Focused sonic booms
Coulouvrat, François Institut Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, Centre National de La Recherche Scientifuque, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
Marchiano, Régis Institut Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, Centre National de La Recherche Scientifuque, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
Thomas, Jean-Louis Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
- Boom formation by cruising aircraft
- Boom formation by accelerating aircraft
- Distinctive features of focused booms
- Solution of the governing equation
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A sonic boom is the loud impulsive sound produced by any object moving faster than the local sound speed. Human-made sonic booms have existed for a long time, due to cracking whips or artillery shells, but they were not recognized as such before World War I, when booms interfered with Ernest Esclangon's attempts to localize German guns by acoustical goniometry (direction finding). Then sonic booms quickly returned to obscurity until the birth of the “supersonic age” in 1947 when Charles Yeager broke the sound barrier on the aircraft Bell X-1. This event was followed by the design of supersonic fighters and the launch in the 1960s of civil supersonic projects (the B2707 in the United States, the Soviet TU144, and the British-French Concorde), at a time of cold war competition when the future of air travel was confidently forecast as supersonic. But high costs, increasing environmental concerns, surging oil prices, and the political turmoil of the 1970s contradicted optimistic anticipations. The Concorde alone achieved the dream of supersonic travel, but only for wealthy customers flying transatlantic. Indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration banned civil supersonic flight over U.S. territory in 1973 as a protection against undesirable booms (at that time, the Concorde's). This ban was also adopted by other countries.
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