U.S scientists are testing different shaped planes in wind tunnels that travels at supersonic speeds without the sonic boom. Image © Science Uncovered
On the other part of the world Japanese engineers are dropping models from high-altitude balloons.
Aeronautical companies are now testing different shapes, manly at the nose of the aircraft, to see if they can find a way to reduce the sonic boom.
Image © Science Uncovered
NASA’s supersonic programme manager Peter Coen, said:
‘The long, skinny fuselage is not a practical answer. In our pursuit of boom reductions, we examine the whole, three-dimensional shape of the vehicle, including the engine configuration. Even then, we keep in mind that the airliner has to meet all of the other requirements which are part of good design practice.’
A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate enormous amounts of sound energy, sounding much like an explosion. The crack of a supersonic bullet passing overhead is an example of a sonic boom in miniature.
The sound source is traveling at 1.4 times the speed of sound (Mach 1.4). Since the source is moving faster than the sound waves it creates, it leads the advancing wavefront. The sound source will pass by a stationary observer before the observer hears the sound it creates. Image © wikimedia
A sonic boom produced by an aircraft moving at M=2.92, calculated from the cone angle of 20 degrees. An observer hears nothing but a boom when the shock wave, on the edges of the cone, crosses his or her location. Image © wikimedia