Low-boom supersonic aircraft model points to fast future

October 18, 2012
Credit: NASA/Michelle M. Murphy

(Phys.org)—If human beings are ever to fly faster than the speed of sound from one side of the country to another, we first have to figure out how to reduce the level of sonic boom generated by supersonic flight.

Earlier this fall, a subscale model of a potential future low-boom designed by The Boeing Company was installed for testing in the supersonic wind tunnel at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

This model is a larger of two models used in the test. The model contains a force measurement balance used to capture force measurements (lift, drag). Depending on the type of test and on the tunnel, the model can be oriented any way. Pictured here, the model is actually upside down.

Another smaller model was used to capture measurements of the off-body pressures that create a .

The tests are among those being conducted by NASA and its partners to identify technologies and designs to achieve a level of sonic boom so low that it barely registers on buildings and people below.

Explore further: Raytheon, Cessna Receive NASA Sonic Boom Research Grants

Related Stories

Lancets Flights Probe Supersonic Shockwaves

January 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA is concluding a series of flight tests to measure shock waves generated by an F-15 jet in an effort to validate computer models that could be used in designing quieter supersonic aircraft.

Improved wind tunnel testing of aircraft models

October 4, 2012

When testing numerical predictions regarding performance of aircraft, wind tunnels are still the next best thing to actual flight. EU-funded researchers improved the accuracy of test measurements with important implications ...

Controlling air flow over wings during supersonic flight

October 10, 2012

EU-funded researchers evaluated control techniques of air flow over aeroplane wings during supersonic flight. The optimal wing design developed should lead to important reductions in noise, emissions and fuel consumption.

Recommended for you

Team discovers moon over Makemake in the Kuiper Belt

June 27, 2016

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered an elusive, dark moon orbiting Makemake, one of the "big four" dwarf planets populating the Kuiper Belt region at the edge of our solar system. The findings are detailed ...

Researchers trace Mercury's origins to rare meteorite

June 27, 2016

Around 4.6 billion years ago, the Solar System was a chaos of collapsing gas and spinning debris. Small particles of gas and dust clumped together into larger and more massive meteoroids that in turn smashed together to form ...

ChemCam findings hint at oxygen-rich past on Mars

June 27, 2016

The discovery of manganese oxides in Martian rocks might tell us that the Red Planet was once more Earth-like than previously believed. A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that NASA's Curiosity rover observed ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Argiod
1 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2012
Nice, but I'm wondering what the effect would be of a plane hitting the ground at supersonic speeds. What sort of collateral damage will be done if say, a terrorist attack with one of these were to take place. What would happen if someone flew it straight down into the center of a city? Would it create something similar to a meteor strike? I'd like to see a safety study done on this.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.