Glide Underground

No more sonic booms?

Articles / Personal Stuff/Random News
Date: Mar 19, 2012 - 06:16 PM
If true, it could be a marvel - an airplane with a second set of wings, to cancel out sonic booms.

Just the thing to enable supersonic passenger flights!

What's the catch? At sub-supersonic speeds, a Busemann Biplane doesn't produce sufficient lift under acceleration, undergoing considerable drag. The design is said to work perfectly at supersonic speeds - it's getting to them that is the trouble. So though there may be no sonic boom, there's no flight either.

Better yet, the MIT/Stanford team think they might have cracked the problem of lift at sub-supersonic speeds. Through an iterative processes, modeling differing design variations, the team has discovered that smoothing the wing's inner surface eases the passage of air between the wings. By additionally "bumping out" the outer edges of the two wings, the team has come up with a design it claims will fly below the speed of sound, and with half the drag of Concorde.
Ok, so maybe they're not quite there yet...

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