Low-boom supersonic aircraft model points to fast future

Oct 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: NASA tests nonstick aircraft wing coatings that let bug juice slide

Related Stories

Lancets Flights Probe Supersonic Shockwaves

Jan 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

Oct 04, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters

20 hours ago

The Cessna 172 airplane dangled 82 feet in the air – looking almost like it was coming in for a landing, except for the cables attaching it to a huge gantry at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, ...

NASA image: Curiosity's stars and stripes

20 hours ago

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). ...

User comments : 1

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.