Design and Noise Acceptability of Future Supersonic Transport Aircraft

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Because of the expected return of civil supersonic flight, research is required to update supersonic noise regulations to allow public acceptance of civil supersonic flights. To advise ICAO on whether future supersonic aircraft will be able to comply with current regulations this thesis predicts the noise production of future supersonic transport aircraft. For this a low-fidelity aircraft design program was created. This program was validated successfully and based on five produced aircraft designs a noise analysis was performed. This analysis shows that supersonic aircraft will be unlikely to meet the subsonic airport noise regulations. The reason for this is that optimisation for supersonic flight inevitably results in changes that produce more noise compared to subsonic aircraft. The sonic boom noise level of future supersonic transport aircraft can be greatly reduced compared to the levels of Concorde by optimising the aircraft’s shape. However, this will result in increased drag, fuel burn and weight. Therefore it is unlikely that near future supersonic transport aircraft will be acceptable in terms of noise.