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Posted 7/6/2012 Printable Fact Sheet

Arnold Engineering Development Complex is the most advanced and largest complex of flight simulation test facilities in the world. Although no aircraft are stationed at AEDC, the potential for low-flying aircraft, noise or sonic booms does exist.

The 118th Airlift Wing, located in Nashville, Tenn., regularly performs low-altitude flying training missions with its aircraft, the C-130 Hercules. In addition, the unit occasionally uses AEDC's runway.

Other aircraft potentially causing aircraft noise or sonic booms include the F-22 Raptor and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The F-22 is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Since the Lockheed-Martin Corporation develops the aircraft, they must ensure each aircraft undergoes a rigorous flight test program. These tests, which include two supersonic flights, originate from Lockheed-Martin's aircraft manufacturing plant in Marietta, Ga. The supersonic run is flown east to west and results in the aircraft breaking the speed of sound, causing a "sonic boom" on one stretch of the test route. The sonic boom occurs only once, but the sound is dragged from the beginning of the run to the end and is heard throughout Middle Tennessee. To minimize the effect of the "boom" the aircraft flies at a minimum of 43,000 feet or higher, which is over 8 miles up. During every F-22 flight test mission, an F-16 -- assigned to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. -- chases the aircraft to monitor its performance. Therefore, there are two sonic booms.

Sonic booms on occasion cause minor damage. If you feel a sonic boom has caused damage to your property or if you would like to report a low-flying aircraft, you may contact AEDC Public Affairs at (931) 454-4204. Make sure you have all the details such as the date, time of day the incident occurred, and extent of damage if any was caused.


Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Office of Public Affairs; 100 Kindel Drive, Suite B-213; Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., 37389-2213; DSN 340-4204, Commercial (931) 454-4204.

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