CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Small flaps mounted in jet-engine inlet ducts may allow supersonic aircraft to fly faster and farther at less cost, say researchers at the University of Illinois. "When flying at supersonic speeds, shock waves naturally occur in the engine inlet," said Eric Loth, a UI professor of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. "The shock waves disrupt the airflow, creating considerable flow separation and significantly reducing engine efficiency." To minimize this effect and prevent boundary-layer flow separation, conventional supersonic engines use a bleed system that removes air through holes in the inlet wall and dumps it out the back. While this keeps the boundary layer attached, it also wastes a fair portion of the ingested airflow.
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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