Homework Question on Aerodynamics and characteristics of a Supersonic Aircraft
You would need to explain in your paper the theory of supersonic flight:
- What is shock wave,
- How does it form and behave with increasing speed,
- How does it affect the flight in transonic region,
- What is sonic boom,
- What are supersonic wing designs,
- Which commercial aircraft operated in this design, effect on engines and any other related information.
- Your research paper should be about 2000 words, duly illustrated with diagrams and pictures.
- The effort should be original and not the copy/paste material.
Homework Answer on Aerodynamics and characteristics of a Supersonic Aircraft
Supersonic flight, also referred to as supersonic transport is an aircraft that moves faster than the speed of sound.The design and development of this kind of aircraft started in the second half of the twentieth century, and since then it has been used more profoundly in military operations. The only known civilian aircraft with supersonic speed capabilities were the Concorde, which was designed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and the Russian Tupolev Tu-144 (Luo, 2010).
The aerodynamics of a supersonic aircraft is normally termed as compressible flow since it is related to the sonic boom, created by its speed being faster than that of sound. These flights come with considerable technical challenges since its aerodynamics are quite different from that of a subsonic aircraft. The drag in supersonic aircraft are much greater and is attributed to the sharp rise which occurs as the aircraft passes the transonic regime. This means, such aircraft needs to have an enormous engine power to overcome the effects of drag or alternatively have its wings and the fuselage designed to facilitate the streamlined flow of currents passing over and below it (Christie, 2001).
The design principles of a supersonic aircraft focus mainly on its wings, heating system, and the engine power. The wings of a supersonic aircraft need to be designed to minimize the effects of drag. This is achieved by reducing the wing span, consequently reducing the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft when flying ata low speed. However, since its landing should take place at a relatively low speed, the wing design should achieve a compromise between the higher speed requirements and the low-speed landing.