Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Supersonic Jousting Combats Shockwaves

Date:
October 8, 2006
Source:
NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center
Summary:
Early fighter pilots were sometimes called knights of the air, a reflection of medieval times when knights used blunted lances in jousting tournaments to dismount competitors from their horses. Now, jet-borne jousting is combating supersonic shockwaves, hopefully enough to lessen the resulting sonic boom heard on the ground.

NASA's F-15B research testbed aircraft with Gulfstream's Quiet Spike extended to 24 feet. (NASA photo by Tom Tschida)

Early fighter pilots were sometimes called knights of the air, a reflection of medieval times when knights used blunted lances in jousting tournaments to dismount competitors from their horses.

Related Articles


Now, jet-borne jousting is combating supersonic shockwaves, hopefully enough to lessen the resulting sonic boom heard on the ground.

Gulfstream Aerospace and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center have teamed in a project called Quiet Spike to investigate the suppression of sonic booms.

The project centers around a retractable, 24-foot-long lance-like spike mounted on the nose of NASA Dryden's F-15B research testbed aircraft. The spike, made of composite materials, creates three small shock waves that travel parallel to each other all the way to the ground, producing less noise than typical shock waves that build up at the front of supersonic jets.

Before flying with the giant spike, NASA Dryden engineers and technicians, working alongside their Gulfstream counterparts, mounted it on the aircraft and conducted various structural tests on the ground.

"The partnership between Gulfstream and Dryden during Quiet Spike installation and ground testing on the F-15B has produced a wealth of valuable information. The duration of this flight test effort will prove to be exciting and informative for everyone involved," said Leslie Molzahn, NASA Dryden's operations engineer on the project.

Since the project's first flight, conducted on Aug. 10, 2006, several more flights have put the system's structural integrity to the test before moving on to sonic boom suppression measurements. While these tests won't actually 'quiet' the F-15's sonic boom, they will show that the spike's design is capable of use in a real flight environment. The flights are monitored in NASA Dryden's mission control.

NASA's F-15B research testbed aircraft in flight with "Working with Gulfstream has provided a significant advantage to this flight research project," NASA project manager Michael Toberman says. "This project merges Gulfstream's manufacturing expertise with NASA Dryden's flight test expertise."

Shockwaves develop around aircraft as they near Mach 1, or about 760 mph, the speed of sound at sea level. When an aircraft travels supersonically, the resulting shockwaves can produce a loud sonic boom that rattles windows and nerves on the ground under the path of the supersonic jet.

Because of sonic boom intensity, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits supersonic flight over land, except in special military flight corridors.

Gulfstream's Quiet Spike puts spike-induced sonic boom suppression theory to the test in the actual flight environment afforded by NASA's supersonic F-15B. The aircraft has served NASA and industry in this role for years as a flying wind tunnel and supersonic testbed vehicle.

Once the Quiet Spike has proven to be structurally sound, it can be incorporated with confidence onto advanced low-boom configuration aircraft to further lessen the impact of sonic booms.

"By changing length in-flight, Quiet Spike will demonstrate yet another way to shape the sonic boom," said Gulfstream spokesman Robert Baugniet. "It's a necessary step toward low boom aircraft design and truly quieting the sonic boom."

In 2003 and 2004, NASA Dryden worked with DARPA and Northrop Grumman on the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration project, which flew a highly modified F-5 aircraft to prove that aircraft shaping can reduce sonic boom intensity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center. "Supersonic Jousting Combats Shockwaves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061006075012.htm>.
NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center. (2006, October 8). Supersonic Jousting Combats Shockwaves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061006075012.htm
NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center. "Supersonic Jousting Combats Shockwaves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061006075012.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins