120. Editorial Note

The second meeting of the FAUSST group, held in Washington February 1–5, 1965, discussed air frames, atmosphere, and the sonic boom. In a report dated June 10, an economic officer observed: “I attended part of one session on the SST. The FAA summarized some of the results of the Oklahoma City and White Sands sonic boom tests. The data on community reaction in Oklahoma City is now being analyzed by the National Academy of Science. A report will be prepared on the community reaction. From casual observation, the FAA felt that there had not been any significant reaction to the booms by the populace of Oklahoma City and FAA did not know of any physiological damage.” (Memorandum for the files by Mary Irene Pett, June 10; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, AV 3)

On May 7 the Federal Aviation Agency released its reports on the sonic boom studies. It noted that “over 80 per cent of those questioned, when informed of the SST plans of the British, French and Russians, expressed the opinion to opinion researchers that the U.S. should proceed with developing an SST.” Nonetheless, “Substantial numbers of residents reported interference with ordinary living activities and annoyance with such interruptions, but the overwhelming majority felt they could learn to live with the numbers and kinds of booms experienced during the six month study.” However, the report continued, “the acceptance of the booms fell from about 90 per cent of those residents of Oklahoma City interviewed during the first weeks of the program to about 75 per cent of a comparable sample of the population during the final weeks.” (Circular airgram CA–11884, May 7; ibid., AV 12–7 US)

On July 1, at the swearing in of the new Administrator of the FAA, President Johnson said that he had received the second interim report of the SST Advisory Committee and that it had recommended a move forward “at the fastest possible rate consistent with the goals that I have outlined.” The President said that he would be requesting $140 million over 18 months for SST development. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, Book I, page 714)