The prospect of designing a supersonic business jet that meets market requirements and environmental noise constraints at a price that will attract buyers remains compelling, and research continues. The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently signed an agreement to research SSBJ sonic boom mitigation with Rolls-Royce Deutschland and Gulfstream Aerospace. It is the department’s largest industrial research agreement ever, according to Michael Bragg, aerospace engineering professor and associate dean for research and administrative affairs in the College of Engineering. Funding has been provided for the first three years of the five-year agreement. The research funds will pay for facilities for performing computational and experimental work.
While commercial details are confidential, Bragg said, “One of the prime objectives of this research is to show the FAA and environmentalists that the sound produced by a jet flying at supersonic speeds over land can be reduced to an acceptable level.”