Supersonic Boom

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th April 1964.

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Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West 12:00 am, 15th April 1964

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he is supporting research to investigate the possibilities of eliminating the boom from supersonic flight.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

I am supporting research into ways of keeping this noise to a minimum but no method of eliminating it entirely can be foreseen.

Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West

Is the hon.. Gentleman quite happy about the prospects of being awakened by the boom in the middle of the night? Many of us are extremely keen to see supersonic flight developments but would nevertheless like to be Sure that greater effort is being put into the problem of the supersonic boom than seems to be the case at present.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

The answer to the first part of that supplementary question is, "Not really". As regards the second part, the designers of the Concord are well aware of the need to keep the boom within tolerable limits and are doing all they can. The Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough is carrying out a lot of research into such things as the supersonic boom.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Is my hon.. Friend aware that extensive tests are being carried out in the United States on this problem? Is there any arrangement to exchange information between the two countries in order to get the benefit of these researches?

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

We are aware of the tests being carried out in Oklahoma City on behalf of the United States Government. These will be of great interest to us and we will be in touch over the sharing of information.

Photo of Dr Jeremy Bray Dr Jeremy Bray , Middlesbrough West

Is the hon.. Gentleman aware that this is a point on which there is likely to be extremely strong public reaction once the problem is appreciated and experience begins to be widespread? It would be extremely unfortunate if the aircraft industry's development were to be frustrated by public reaction which had not been fully anticipated in the early stages.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

We are going into the question of public reaction and tests on the subjective effects of the supersonic boom are being carried out at Aberporth and at Cambridge University.