Questions tagged [supersonic]

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

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16
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
10
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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 ...
10
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2answers
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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 ...
21
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2answers
11k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
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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....
18
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
2
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0answers
126 views

How does a 'Highly Swept leading-edge' delta wing reduces fuel burn and increases range? [duplicate]

Spike Aerospace claims to have designed an aircraft called S-512, with maximum speed of 1.8 mach and cruise speed of 1.6 mach, speaking about the notable changes in the aircraft, Spike Aerospace says:...
20
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2answers
10k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Why most of the supersonic or fighter aircraft use all-moving control surfaces?

What are the advantages of using all-moving control surfaces? can someone give explanations based on aerodynamics?
4
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4answers
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Did Concorde really fly above 55k feet as mentioned in this report?

Here is a report of the last journey of Concorde from JFK-LHR, which mentions "The highest altitude we reached was 58000 feet." Is this height aerodynamically feasible to reach?
4
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5answers
608 views

Why does speed lose out to capacity?

The Concorde had a maximum speed of 2.05 Mach, carrying about 96-128 passengers. The Airbus A380 can achieve a top speed of 0.95 Mach with more than 500 passengers on board. This means roughly 5 times ...
5
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2answers
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How come sonic booms only occur once at the speed of sound and not multiple times? [duplicate]

Fighter aircraft today are capable of flying several times the speed of sound. Why is it that the sonic boom only occurs at the moment the plane crosses Mach 1?
12
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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.
12
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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?
8
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1answer
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Why is the XB-70's Top speed only about 60mph higher than its cruise speed?

The maximum and cruise speeds listed for North American XB-70 Valkyrie are: Maximum speed: Mach 3.1 (2,056 mph, 3,309 km/h) Cruise speed: Mach 3.0 (2,000 mph, 3,200 km/h) Why is there such ...
15
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1answer
6k views

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?
9
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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 ...
2
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1answer
904 views

Why do super sonic fighter jets have narrow waist? [duplicate]

Some of the supersonic fighter jets (such as F-4 Phantom and F-5) have narrow waist on their fuselage. Why do these fighter jets have narrow waist?
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3answers
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Why did Air France retire Concorde? [closed]

It was developed by British Airways and Air France in the 1970s as the first supersonic passenger/civilian airplane.
8
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
20
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3answers
23k views

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?
-2
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1answer
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Supersonic Fuselage design [closed]

What should be the ratio of the fuselage and wings in a maximum dimension limited condition supersonic delta wing aircraft? Also can anybody explain clearly the "supersonic area rule" or "Whitcomb ...
17
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2answers
4k views

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
4k views

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?
7
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2answers
445 views

What made the 2707 so superior?

A book I have (Boeing, Planemaker to the World) includes how many orders and planes received of all of Boeing's major models as of the date it was printed. It said the 2707 (Boeing's failed SST) got ...
25
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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?
18
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
471 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 ...
15
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1answer
799 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 ...
39
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4answers
4k views

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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