Just because the latest Lockheed Martin aircraft destroys the sound barrier doesn’t mean it needs to destroy the eardrums of everyone it flies over. In fact, the Lockheed Martin Quiet Supersonic Transport (QSST) can go coast to coast in just two hours, but it “can muffle its sonic boom to 1/100 the strength.” This means that it is ridiculously quiet and will cause minimal disruptions for the people on the ground. After all, a full-on sonic boom can be pretty darn loud (anyone that’s experienced a Concord flyover can attest to that).
The aerodynamics on the QSST allow it to create a series of small sonic booms, rather than the two large ones expected from a conventional supersonic airplane. Flying this way won’t be cheap, naturally, as this luxury plane only has enough room for 12 passengers. Stealthy, compact, and ridiculously fast? I can only imagine Dubya licking his lips with the possible military applications.