FAA to Slightly Ease Regulation of Supersonic Test Flights

(p. B3) . . . , the FAA is poised to propose first-of-their-kind noise standards targeting takeoffs and landings of supersonic aircraft during test flights. Such maneuvers can exceed current standards for comparably sized conventional aircraft operating around airports. Some of the proposed supersonic jetliners are projected to be about one-third longer than the roughly 120-foot length of an older Boeing Co. 737.

Based on size, the FAA wants to permit more takeoff noise for supersonic craft than would be allowed under existing standards, but in every case no more than is now permitted for the largest wide-body airliners.

The FAA’s primary goal, according to Mr. Elwell, is to make sure “we don’t become a hindrance to the movement of this technology” into commercial applications.

Bombardier has restructured its aviation division over the past two years, highlighted by its joint venture with Airbus that put the European plane maker in charge of the production and sales of the 110- to 130-seat planes that the Montreal company had originally conceived as the CSeries. Those jets are now rebranded as the Airbus A220.

. . .

The anticipated regulations won’t deal with noise constraints at higher altitudes and supersonic speeds, where controlling sonic boom remains a major design and operational challenge requiring a new generation of quieter, more fuel-efficient engines. But for some time, supersonic proponents have lobbied Congress and tried to persuade the FAA to take preliminary steps to remove hurdles to development flights.

For the full story, see:

Andy Pasztor. “Supersonic Flights Poised for Return.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, June 18, 2019): B3.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 17, 2019, and has the title “FAA Seeks to Enable Return of Supersonic Passenger Aircraft.”)

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