NASA pilots flew the QSF18 supersonic research aircraft, which doesn’t generate sound.
Usually, aircraft breaking the sound barrier generate a huge sonic boom sound, but NASA’s jet only produce a quiet “thump”.
The space agency said the purpose of the tests was to monitor how people and sensors on the ground would react to the so-called “thump”.
Project manager Peter Cohen said: “QSF18 is a big step in NASA’s efforts to understand what is required for acceptable supersonic overland flight.
“QSF18 is a big step in NASA’s efforts”
“This is the first time in decades that we have reached out to a large community as part of our supersonic research.
“NASA has performed similar tests at our Armstrong Flight Research Center, using similar sounds created by the same F/A-18.
“We’ve measured the noise levels and the impact on structures, as well as surveyed people for annoyance, to make certain that these tests are safe and well-planned.”
Mark Geyer, director of the space agency’s Johnson Space Center: “NASA’s role as a leader into new frontiers paves towards technology, opportunities, and milestone across multiple endeavours, as we have always done through our history.”