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34 J. Air L. & Com. 208 (1968)
Sonic Boom: Containment or Confrontation

handle is hein.journals/jalc34 and id is 222 raw text is: SONIC BOOM: CONTAINMENT OR CONFRONTATION
I know of no way of judging the
future but by the past.-Patrick Henry
T HE SONIC BOOM is a remarkable phenomenon the likes of which
have not been matched since the discovery of the atomic bomb. Its ini-
tially playful character has developed into genie proportions whose flexing
muscles may chance to bruise the ears of the entire world. In fact, what was
once mere chance has soared the sonic boom into the fields of battle where
it has assumed proportions of international stature. Will peaceful contain-
ment or the hue and cry of warlike confrontation prevail?
A. History
It was in the early 1940's that aircraft probably first reached the speed
of sound. These booms during World War II dive bombing missions were
rare and considered quite dangerous. In 1947, the rocket powered Bell X-1
piloted by Charles E. Yaeger, achieved supersonic speed.' With the develop-
ment of jet aircraft during and after the Korean War, supersonic speeds
became an operational reality.' The thrill of air shows came when an-
nouncers enthusiastically presented the sonic boom!
The boom was lowered at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma in 1956 when
an Air Force air show presented same.3 The ensuing $500,000 damage at
the airfield4 and hundreds of claims' by local property owners sobered the
boom enthusiasts.
B. Tests And Public Reaction
Interest and need demanded a better understanding of this remarkable
phenomenon. Tests were conducted at St. Louis, from July 1961 through
May 1962; at Oklahoma City from February through July 1964; at Chi-
cago from February through March 1965, and at Edwards Air Force Base
in late 1967. The Air Force, Stanford Research Institute, Boeing Aircraft
Company, the Federal Aviation Administration and many other organi-
zations conducted tests and studied the results. The damage, public re-
t B.S., Military Science, United States Military Academy; Master of Aerospace Operations Man-
agement, Univ. So. Calif.; Major, United States Army.
' D. BILLYOU, AiR LAW at 63, (2d ed. 1964).
aRoth, Sonic Boom: A New Legal Problem, 44 A.B.A.J. 218 (1958).
a 12 AM. Jug. PRooF OF FACTS, Sonic Boom at 598 (1962).
Hammon, More on Sonic Booms: Litigation is Showing Their Propensities, 47 A.B.A.J. 1097

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