Questions tagged [supersonic]

Use for questions relating to flight at speeds greater than sound and related effects from doing so.

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52
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3answers
12k views

Can you feel passing through the sound barrier in an F-16?

Is it possible for the pilot to feel passing through the sound barrier in an F-16? What about other modern aircraft, will you feel anything? Do you need to go back to really dated designs before you ...
45
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2answers
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How can the landing gear fit in the small room in the engine bay on the Tupolev Tu-144?

I recently went to the museum in Sinsheim, Germany, where a Tupolev Tu-144 is on display. I noticed that the landing gear of this plane is actually way wider than the space it has available when ...
39
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4answers
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Is a rotary wing craft capable of supersonic flight?

Just what the title states. Since the Wright brothers, aviation technology for fixed-wing craft has advanced by an order or more. Rotary wing craft on the other hand (I know little about aviation; ...
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4answers
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Do jets breaking the sound barrier leave shredded metal on the ground?

As a kid (1960s and 1970s) we would find shredded metal rolled into a loose ball similar to the shredded paper one might find in an Easter basket, in the hills surrounding our farm. We had the Royal ...
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3answers
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Can propeller driven aircraft sustain speeds at or above Mach 1?

Has any propeller driven aircraft ever achieved and sustained supersonic speed? If not, why can't propeller airplanes achieve that speed?
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5answers
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Why are there no commercial supersonic flights at present?

I'd think that on certain heavily trafficked routes, especially ones with lots of business travelers, there would be a market for high-speed (supersonic) flights? Why are there currently no ...
23
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2answers
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Could anyone (non-military) in the present day “exceed mach 1 over a regulated area”?

There is a question What would happen if I exceeded mach 1 over a regulated area? I wonder, could anyone in civil aviation (not military) actually carry out this violation? I know there are privately ...
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4answers
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Was the Boeing 2707 design flawed?

The mach 2.7 capable Boeing 2707 has an interesting design. I'm curious if there has been any studies done that concluded that this aircraft would simply not have worked, given the way it was ...
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2answers
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Can a sonic boom produced at 60,000' be heard on the ground?

The Concorde normally cruised at an altitude of 55-60,000 feet, but wasn't allowed to fly over populated areas due to the noise it produces. Can the sonic boom of an aircraft at 60,000 feet be heard ...
20
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3answers
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What is a high speed stall?

I'm told that planes can actually stall when the airflow over the wing goes past Mach 1? Why does this happen and how do you design an aircraft to avoid it?
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6answers
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Is an afterburner louder than the same jet engine without it?

I would speculate that an afterburner increases the noise because it is nearer to the exhaust. But it certainly causes so many changes in the exhaust flow that it could be less loud as well. It may ...
18
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3answers
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Does a Mach 1 plane hear a sonic boom from a Mach 3 plane overtaking him?

Let's say Bob is flying at Mach 1 and then John, in another aircraft, overtakes him at Mach 3. They are flying parallel to each other, say 500 meters apart. And there is no wind. Their relative speed ...
18
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2answers
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How is supercruise achieved?

Wikipedia article tells that supercruise is a condition when an aircraft can achieve velocities above Mach one without using the highly inefficient afterburners. But still, there are not a lot of ...
18
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1answer
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Do bigger aircraft make a bigger sonic boom?

I was watching an episode of MythBusters where they were trying to break glass windows and cups using a sonic boom generated by a F/A-18 Hornet, flown by the Blue Angels. In summary, they were ...
18
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1answer
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What does happen when a supersonic aircraft passes another supersonic aircraft, regarding sonic booms?

I wonder about sonic boom existence and effects when two fast aircraft interact, for example: When supersonic aircraft flying opposite routes cross each other, do pilots hear a sonic boom? If they ...
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2answers
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What control issues did the X-1 have to overcome to achieve supersonic flight?

In Chuck Yeager's autobiography, he went into a little bit of detail as to why the X-1 was able to break the sound barrier safely where as the P-51D he flew during WWII could not have safely broken ...
16
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4answers
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Why are swept wings better for breaking the sound barrier?

I'm told that swept wings perform better when an aircraft is trying to break the sound barrier. I was wondering why that would be?
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2answers
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What are the procedures for flying supersonic over international waters?

Supposing I owned a supersonic aircraft eg a MiG-21 and wanted to fly the jet out into international waters for a supersonic speed run. Are there any particular ATC procedures for doing so?
16
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1answer
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At what altitude did Concorde go supersonic?

At what point during flight would Concorde go supersonic? Would it climb to cruising altitude first? Does altitude affect the transsonic difficulties (buffet, need for extra thrust, etc.)?
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Why aren't the canards used as airbrakes on the Tupolev Tu-144?

The Tupolev TU-144 uses retractable canards to stabilize the aircraft while starting and landing. On this picture you can see them very well: Source: AirlineFan.com Copyright: VOLPATI It doesn't ...
15
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1answer
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What are the merits of an inlet cone/spike/centerbody vs. a 2D inlet?

And which is better for a scramjet? Is a 2D inlet basically a "2D cone"? Similar to how an aerospike engine is made "2D" in the linear aerospike? What's inside the cone/spike? Or is it just hollow?
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2answers
892 views

Acceleration of a supersonic aircraft after breaking the sound barrier

People on the physics stackexchange recommended I ask here, so I am pasting my question regarding supersonic aircraft. I stumbled upon an interesting plot; in particular, the dependence of wave drag ...
15
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1answer
798 views

Are there any serious plans for a new supersonic civilian aircraft? [closed]

Since the retirement of the Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144, there aren't any civilian airplanes (passengers carrier or business jet) flying supersonic. I heard that Dassault and SAAB had rather ...
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4answers
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Is there a boomless sonic technology in any state at this time?

I've heard rumors about airplanes being on the horizon with "boomless sonic" technology, or the ability to fly supersonic without creating that hazardous shockwave. This would be very valuable for ...
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3answers
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Did the XF-84H Thunderscreech really cause “900 sonic booms per minute”?

The Republic XF-84H, known as the "Thunderscreech" was an experimental version of the F-84F Thunderstreak. It was intended to be a supersonic turboprop fighter. Even at idle, the prop tips rotated at ...
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1answer
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Could a test crew replicate the 1961 DC-8 supersonic dive in a more modern airliner?

The first airliner to ever break the sound barrier was the DC-8, doing so in a semi-famous dive from 52,000' to 35,000' over the Edwards test range on August 21, 1961. Could this supersonic dive be ...
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3answers
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Was the Boeing 747 designed to be supersonic?

I heard a rumour that the Boeing 747 was originally designed for supersonic cruising. Is this correct? Are the airframe and wings able to cross the sound barrier without damage?
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2answers
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Could Concorde have used swing wings?

Would it have been possible to equip the Concorde with swing-wings to help with lift at lower speeds? The delta wings on the aircraft worked well at high speeds, but it took a long time for it to ...
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2answers
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Why is the coefficient of drag for straight wings at supersonic speeds lower than for swept wings?

Why is the coefficient of drag of a straight wing lower than the coefficient of drag of a swept back wing at higher supersonic speeds (above, say, Mach 2)?
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1answer
703 views

Did Concorde's sonic booms affect other air traffic?

Given that Concorde's sonic boom reached the ground, it also must have reached other nearby air traffic. How was this dealt with? I imagine passengers would not welcome hearing a loud boom during ...
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1answer
3k views

Would a perfectly silent supersonic aircraft create a sonic boom?

Assume that you have an aircraft that is so amazingly stealthy that it is perfectly quiet: no engine noise at all, nothing. And, it's going supersonic. (Maybe in a steep dive with the motor shut off....
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2answers
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Can a supersonic plane use a subsonic wing if the nosecone shock produces subsonic airflow around the wing?

A supersonic plane will produce shock waves off the nose cone, as seen below: These oblique shocks reduce the speed of the air that the wing experiences. If the plane is at a low enough Mach number, ...
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1answer
465 views

Do the shock waves from a supersonic plane affect general aviation planes?

Are there any considerations to take into account when flying around supersonic aircraft? I know that wake turbulence from large aircraft can pose a threat to smaller planes. Is the same true of the ...
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4answers
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What is a ramjet?

What is a ramjet? Was it used on the SR-71 Blackbird?
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3answers
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Can stainless steel replace titanium for Mach 3+ speeds?

In the documentary Wings of Russia: MiG-25 and MiG-31, they mentioned both aircraft had to use special stainless steel alloys and arc welding to withstand the Mach 2.83 - 3.2 speeds. I couldn't help ...
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2answers
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How is the camera positioned for these plane-to-plane Schlieren images of shock waves?

These two popular press articles discuss the use of schlieren photography to image shock waves of jets during flight using a special schlieren camera on a third plane. Gizmodo: NASA Captures First-...
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2answers
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What is the function of the holes in splitter plates?

Do the holes in splitter plates reduce the boundary layer, or do they serve a different function such as acoustic/vibration damping? Many splitter plates have a series of holes drilled into the ...
11
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1answer
528 views

Why does linear airfoil theory break down at hypersonic speeds?

Why can't we just extend linear supersonic theory beyond M = 5? I've looked at NASA papers discussing everything from geometric effects, air disassociation, and thermal coupling, but no clear and ...
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2answers
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What is the simplest way to explain a sonic boom that is still technically correct?

I'm looking for an explanation that preserves technical accuracy while remaining brief. Bonus points for including the double boom. Try to avoid discussing laminar flow and such.
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1answer
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Will you be able to hear a supersonic aircraft flying away from you?

I'm wondering if you could be able to hear the sound emitted by an aircraft say traveling at Mach 2 away from you. I wondered if it might shift the emitted frequencies beyond the audible range. Would ...
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4answers
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Why are many military fighter aircraft designed to fly supersonic?

It is my understanding that these aircraft rarely fly at supersonic speeds anyway—the ordnance they carry, the increased fuel burn (even with supercruise), and the increased chance of detection make ...
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3answers
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Can turboprop blades break the sound barrier?

This question doesn't relate to the actual speed of the aircraft, but of the blades themselves. I have heard helicopters had problems of this happening if the rotors spin too fast it can break the ...
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2answers
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How can an F-22 Raptor reach supersonic speeds without having supersonic inlets?

The F-22 Raptor and some other jets do not have inlet spikes, yet they are able to achieve supersonic speeds. How is that possible?
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0answers
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How loud was the Concorde's sonic boom at the ground level? [duplicate]

Before the Concorde was sent into retirement, their supersonic flight paths were restricted to the ocean because of concerns about sonic boom on the ground. But just how loud was this boom? Was it ...
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2answers
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What causes the reduction in speed across the shockwave?

Wherever I read about shock waves, it is mentioned that there is a reduction in speed across the shock wave. Can someone please explain what happens at the molecular level, i.e. the physics of the ...
9
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1answer
411 views

Are there any supersonic aircraft with strictly mechanical controls?

Are there or is it possible at all to create a supersonic aircraft with strictly mechanical (human powered without boosters) controls? I know there was an attempt: Bede BD-10 but it never reached ...
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2answers
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a delta wing compared to a swept wing?

What advantage does a delta wing have over a swept wing with high AR for supersonic flight? And what disadvantage does a delta wing have over a swept wing with high AR for transonic flight? The ...
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4answers
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Why isn't tungsten used in supersonic aircraft?

Why isn't Tungsten used in supersonic jets or flights even though it has a High Melting and Boiling point?
8
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1answer
959 views

Can a sonic boom arrive before the source?

I'm on the ground, a fast jet flies from very near to the ground, I hear the sonic boom soon, but after the plane passes my point, right? The real question I'm trying to solve is this: I just heard ...
8
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1answer
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How are condensation cones created by supersonic airplanes?

There are many awesome pictures of this phenomenon such as this one: What is the physical explanation of how this occurs? Does it occur only when the airplane crosses the sound barrier or does it ...