speedracer1407
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Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:11 pm

Hey folks, did a quick search, and didn't find anything.

What is the nature of wake turbulence for aircraft flying supersonic? I donno if it's ever happened, given the tiny number of concordes, but what kind of bump might a concorde experience as it crossed the wake of another?

Not that it could happen, but let's say a subsonic jet found itself behind concorde, or passing through its contrial. Would the effects of wake turbulence be worse?

Ok, since that's a silly scenario, what kind of wake turbulence would some other supersonic plane, a fighter maybe, experience while either crossing through, or riding behind concorde's wake? Is it different from similar size/wieght subsonic aircraft?
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lehpron
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:55 pm

If you could wait 12 hours, I could give you an explaination. It would be 'in principle', meaning, the real life senario may/will be different. And I'll include pictures, not photos, mind you.  Smile
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
speedracer1407
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:17 pm

Excellent. I'll check back in 12 hours
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:37 am

Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 2):
Excellent. I'll check back in 12 hours

Me too..... Interesting question.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Guerrero - AirTeamImages



This photo was taken by an Iberia A340 Pilot at FL380, so Concorde here is doing Mach 2 at FL500 or above. The contrail is the same... not sure about the wake though.

Try looking at this too... it may help with something, although it won't answer your question completely.
Supersonic Contrail Pictures (by EGTESkyGod Dec 2 2005 in Civil Aviation)#ID2467382
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Mir
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:14 am

I'd be interested in knowing what happens when another aircraft flies through the path of the sonic boom.

-Mir
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GDB
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:35 am

What other aircraft would be anywhere near Concordes altitude, never mind any other kind of separation distance, when in supercruise?

Sometimes in the distance, pax might see another BA or AF one going the other way, the crews often mentioned this over the PA.
 
jush
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
What other aircraft would be anywhere near Concordes altitude, never mind any other kind of separation distance, when in supercruise?

Sometimes in the distance, pax might see another BA or AF one going the other way, the crews often mentioned this over the PA.

It's just hypothetical and a very interesting question indeed.
I can't wait to hear Lephron's explanations and drawings cause he knows alot when it comes to Concorde and supersonic cruise.

Might have something to do with the fact that he flew the bloody gorgeous thing.

Regds
jush
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Jush (Reply 6):
I can't wait to hear Lephron's explanations and drawings cause he knows alot when it comes to Concorde and supersonic cruise.

While Lephron knows a lot, I think GDB might know a helluva lot more when it comes to Concorde. Also, Lephron said

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 1):
It would be 'in principle', meaning, the real life senario may/will be different

so make of that what you will.

Lephron, not doubting you by an means, though OK?

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
What other aircraft would be anywhere near Concordes altitude, never mind any other kind of separation distance, when in supercruise?

Not that it ever happened, but in theory, Tu144 could, SR71 could and I think I'm right in saying the Eurofighter and the F14(?) could. But it never happened so I think I deserve a slap for attempting to be smart.
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KELPkid
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:20 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
What other aircraft would be anywhere near Concordes altitude, never mind any other kind of separation distance, when in supercruise?

Perhaps a G-IV or a G-V (Gulfstream) near the beginning of it's (Concorde's) supercriuse...
 Big grin
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:34 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
Perhaps a G-IV or a G-V (Gulfstream) near the beginning of it's (Concorde's) supercriuse...

Wouldn't be supersonic wake turbulence, though would it.
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David L
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:35 am

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 7):
Not that it ever happened, but in theory, Tu144 could, SR71 could and I think I'm right in saying the Eurofighter and the F14(?) could. But it never happened so I think I deserve a slap for attempting to be smart.

So I'm not the only one who has one-man arguments!  biggrin 
 
vc10
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:45 am

In the early commercial years of Concorde's operation the crews of Concorde were asked to keep a visual lookout for aircraft below them and to broadcast Concorde's presence so as to warn the subsonic aircraft that it's instruments might be disturbed by Concorde's sonic boom. After the first few years , as no one seemed to be too bothered the practice died out

The nearest, two Concordes would get to each other whilst both being supersonic was probably if a BA Concorde was doing a round the bay charter and going roughly north to south, whilst an AF one would be coming home from New York going west to east . This sometimes resulted in a lot of work for the French ATC as the light charter aircraft would be climbing quite rapidly even above 50000ft whilst the French would be looking for descent from approx 58000 ft and with both aircraft having little room to manoeuvre due to boom clearance he/she had to predict where they would cross and at what height. They were normally very good at it and I think the liked the challenge to, although it did become somewhat nail biting on times

All good fun and kept the brain cells active

little vc10
 
KELPkid
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:46 am

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 9):
Wouldn't be supersonic wake turbulence, though would it.

IIRC, Concorde requests a block altitude on it's transatlantic crossing from FL450 to FL600, because when she begins supercruise, it's at FL450, but when it ends on the other side of the pond, due to fuel burn, she's at FL600. So, yes, in theory, the supersonic wake would begin at FL450, which is attainable by a Gulfstream...
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prebennorholm
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:59 am

Wake turbulence is not a special issue when going supersonic.

Wake turbulence increases with increased all up weight.

Wake turbulence decreases with increased speed and increased wing span.

Consequently wake turbulence is by far most violent at takeoff and landing when speed is low.

The Concorde was a somewhat "bad guy" at takeoff/landing, but mainly because of its relatively short wing span.

During supersonic cruise it was probably in league with a Boeing 757. And probably more like a DC-10 at subsonic cruise after takeoff when still fuel heavy.

At landing the weight of the Concorde was little more than half of take off weight. That helped a lot.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
vc10
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:06 am

KELPkid,
BA Concordes would actually ask for cruise /climb clearance between 50000and 60000 ft and from London to New York she would start her climb/ acceleration at 28000ft and would be above Mach 1.0 from 30000ft upwards .
Now normally the airspace immediately above 30 to 40000 ft would be clear but the old girl would often overtake subsonic aircraft only a few thousand below {but usually a little ofset} during her initial accel climb between Mach 1.0 and Mach 2.0 and this was always a thrill for the Concorde crews, like being in a racing car
 
Bellerophon
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:32 am

Jush

...Might have something to do with the fact that he flew the bloody gorgeous thing...

Hmmm....Really?  

I'm not aware that he has ever claimed that himself, so I was just wondering what prompted you to make that remark?

Regards

Bellerophon

[Edited 2006-03-08 22:34:48]
 
jush
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 15):
Jush

...Might have something to do with the fact that he flew the bloody gorgeous thing...

Hmmm....Really?

I'm not aware that he has ever claimed that himself, so I was just wondering what prompted you to make that remark?

Regards

Bellerophon

Sorry Bellerophon I might be wrong here. There is a strong possibility that I'm incorrect here. The reason why I said this is cause a while ago there was a thread about Concorde pressurisation and I thought he gave us all the insight information, well at least I thought it was him. Anyway, if it's not him who was the Concorde Captain then.... but I still think it was him.

Edit: I just checked his profile and now I'm quite sure that I stand corrected here and he's no captain of Concorde at all or at least was. I don't really know why I connected his name to it. Hmmm...  Confused  Confused

Regds
jush

[Edited 2006-03-08 23:37:10]
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:55 am

Quoting Jush (Reply 16):
Anyway, if it's not him who was the Concorde Captain then....

The Concorde Captain may be someone else.  Wink
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Bellerophon
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:57 am

Don't worry, it's really not important  Smile  Wink

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Bellerophon
 
David L
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:15 am

Quoting Jush (Reply 16):



Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 17):



Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 18):

Oops!  biggrin 
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:02 am

That......was funny. Sorry Jush  Wink

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 18):
Don't worry, it's really not important

Of course not  Smile
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vc10
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:46 am

I have to agree with Bellerophon here that as far as I know although Lehpron postings are both knowledgeable and informative he has never been a Concorde pilot but I do not think he has ever claimed to be. However that does not mean that his posting on the subject are not worth reading far from it indeed

little vc10
 
ba97
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:30 pm

Reading VC10:
"... the old girl would often overtake subsonic aircraft only a few thousand below {but usually a little ofset} during her initial accel climb between Mach 1.0 and Mach 2.0 and this was always a thrill for the Concorde crews, like being in a racing car".

Makes me wonder if anyone had the experience of seeing her zip overhead like that. I know I would be amazed and cheesed. When I fly home out of Heathrow after a crazy week and settle in thinking 7+ hours to go and (curse curse) I see something leaving me in the dust....
there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
 
jush
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:39 pm

Quoting Vc10 (Reply 21):
However that does not mean that his posting on the subject are not worth reading far from it indeed

Certainly not. His replies remain valuable to this thread.
When does the 12 hour timeframe end?  Wink

Regds
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
lehpron
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:57 pm

First of all, I'd like to thank Speedracer1407 for starting this thread, it's my favorite subject and I love genuine curiosity. Second, a thank you to everyone else, I never realized that ya'll respect what I had to say, per se.

Quoting Jush (Reply 6):
Might have something to do with the fact that he flew the bloody gorgeous thing.

Nope. I did mention here once that I had a classmate that claimed to be a retired BA Concorde pilot back the mid-90's. He told me some pretty cool stuff, though I was too young to fully appreciate it.

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 7):
I think GDB might know a helluva lot more when it comes to Concorde.

Well he worked with her for years, which is admirable enough; he's the first member on my RU list when I found these network forums. But he can be a stick in the mud when it comes to his pessimism regarding a next gen product...but then I'm the one with the relentless optimism, so that has got to be annoying for someone. 


Sorry for being late; I had to sleep, wake up for class and go on with my day. Anyway...maybe I should have said I be back in 22 hours...? The following took me 5 hours to type as it is from memory and half are part of my own theories on sonic boom mitigation - a subject so new that there are no books on it, I've had to teach myself via thought experiments over the past 6 years. Even 2 years ago, I postulated on ideas about killing off the sonic boom in a thread here in the techops, I think it was April 2004? Here's the link, knock yourselves out: http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ech_ops/read.main/87606/6/#ID87606

Quoting Speedracer1407 (Thread starter):
What is the nature of wake turbulence for aircraft flying supersonic?

well first it's not like subsonic wakes, per se, the definition changes (more than likely others will know it by a different term). Subsonic wakes are primarily wing induced (partially fuselage) and are strongest during low-speed like in and around airports. Imagine a sheet of cardboard, the amount of air you can disturb increases as you angle the sheet up. When the aircraft speeds up however, the 'wake intensity' drops because the wing's angle to the wind drops down. Again think of the cardboard sheet as you angle it almost flat. You have to move it faster to support the force you did before.

Now we go even faster.

Supersonic/hypersonic wakes have little to do with the induced flow; in fact they eventually get cut off. Their wakes root from a different source: ram-air. I'll get back to that later.

First: the subsonic effect of the traditional SST.

Delta wings, like those on Concorde, produce what is known as vortex lift. At this point the wing is like a giant version of an engine cowling fin. Those swirls that flow around most subsonic wing tips instead flow around and over the wing's entire leading edge as shown in photo below:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joe Pries - ATR Team



The way a wing lifts is due to the low pressure on top and high pressure underneath. The effect of that higher pressure air wanting to go around and into the lower pressure region creates those swirls.

Second: Compression

When a plane goes past the speed of sound, it must push air out of the way that cannot move faster than the speed of sound, so they form a wave, many in fact, like from a boat. At Mach 2, a plane like Concorde spends 1/10th of one second traveling its own length. In that time, what was air below freezing spikes up past the boiling point of water and the ambient air pressure multiplies by 8 in places. That is the condition of the wake just behind Concorde: hot and thick air, but it doesn't stay that way. It drops in pressure and cools rapidly but not all is recovered. Perhaps two or three lengths of Concorde behind her, the air returns to ambient, for the most part. But the shock wave is expanding away from the plane.

Third: The boom

When a boat travels it pushes all of the water underneath and to the side, I refer to this volume change as displacement, it probably has another name. For the boat, it would be the distance from the keel to the water line times the area of the boat, but this would be an initial volume as it doesn't take into account how fast it's moving. Ever stand on a street corner and a bus or large truck passes you by and feels this gust of air? I refer to that gust as a displacement; I mean if you were underwater and a large boat passed over, you will be pushed down, I guarantee it.

Well a supersonic airplane also displaces air, and those air pressure ripples travel down while still expanding, push at your eardrums; you hear a sonic boom. Luckily though, you are not hearing the entire boom, maybe about 30% or less.

This is a fact: Air pressure acts normal to a surface, which is science jargon for perpendicular. On an sonic airplane, while it flies in a volume of hot-thick air, that pressure reflects away from the plane, in all directions from all surfaces including wings (both sides), fins, fuselage, engines -- everything. Imagine a series of shells shaped like Concorde expanding away from the plane, these shell waves ripple out and expand backward, upwards, and downward and all shape the same point, the nose. I guess if you took a model of Concorde and dipped it into a pool of water; you could see the 2D version of all these shells in the water ripples. The fuselage would have a circular expansion, the wings/fins would start off with flat wall expansions, the leading edge of the wings would reveal half-moon expansions, etc.

But see we the people of Earth only care about what goes down, so for planes like Concorde, her 3800 sq. ft. wing against her nearly 11,000 total surface areas, comes out to about 30%. That pressure starts out at approximately 1500psf (the weight of the plane plus the pressure after the oblique waves times the total surface area all divided by the total area) and depressurizes while it expands. But like I said, it doesn't go to ambient, by the time that wave hits your ears, and you experience 2 psf of 'boom pressure' for a plane like Concorde.

In more than 10 miles of altitude the pressure dropped by over 700 times. From my own calculations, I've fit an approximate curve for the pressure change from altitude tables as natural logarithms, for simplicity. Based on that, I have concluded that the sonic pressure boom decays on a similar curve. That if you were at FL300, you would experience approx 80 psf boom from a M2 plane flying @ FL528. But because you may be in a large airplane, you would not notice it. There isn't enough of an energy transfer in terms of momentum from a thin shockwave washing over another airplane, you wouldn't jolt. The reason windows and houses shake is because they are smaller and absorb some of the energy. Even if it were another Concorde passing by, the shockwaves go through each other; the planes will not be affected.

If the separation was within a mile...I'll theorize a subtle crosswind situation.  

NOTE: the above conclusions are assuming the observer is directly below the flight path. Deviating from this will drop the pressure more as the wave would travel farther.

NOTE: I'm not done; I haven’t even got to the good part.  I have a test on Friday and I want to spend all day tomorrow studying. I hope this will be entertaining, I hope ya'll have questions, comments, corrections if any, complaints, etc. Well, I don’t hope for complains but we cannot please everybody. OTOH, it is my life goal to create a cheap (fare-wise, not a piece of sh*t) SST. I should be back here Friday afternoon (local time here is 200am Pacific Standard in USA)

10-Q,

lehpron

[Edited 2006-03-09 10:05:37]
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:08 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 10):
So I'm not the only one who has one-man arguments!

Yeah, 9 times out of 10, I lose though, which is frustrating.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 12):
when she begins supercruise, it's at FL450

She started supersonic acceleration at FL280, so you're only 17000 feet out!  wink 

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
What other aircraft would be anywhere near Concordes altitude, never mind any other kind of separation distance, when in supercruise?

Just had a thought. How about when the 2 or 3 Concordes went up for the solar eclipse? They couldn't have been that far away from each other otherwise they would've been outside of the "totality" zone.

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 24):
I'm the one with the relentless optimism, so that has got to annoying for someone.

Not at all. Its good to see someone else who wants another SST around soon.  thumbsup 
I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
 
jush
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:42 pm

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 24):

Although not always easy to understand for me it was a pleasure to read.

Thank you and I can't wait to hear more of that.

Regds
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:31 am

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 24):
I'm not done; I haven’t even got to the good part.

Well what you just wrote was awesome, it's certainly given me more of an insight into the theory supersonic.

Lehpron, I'd like to add you to my RU list.

(This is my 500th post, gotta do something for it, surely!)

[Edited 2006-03-09 17:32:10]

[Edited 2006-03-09 17:32:48]
I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
 
speedracer1407
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:28 pm

Really interesting reading folks!! Lehpron, what an answer. I wish all questions were given the same response. I wish I had some questions or something, but I'm in a bit over my head as it is. Whatever you have to add after your test sounds interesting. I'll check back.

O
Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
 
GDB
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:56 am

Great post Lephron, yes I suppose I am a pessimist, but I don't believe in dangling false hopes, hence my (and many others) anger at Sir BS Branson's media posturing in 2003-he and we both knew what he wanted was not going to happen.
Same holds for the future, the last best chance for a SST-NG in the forseeable future, was the abortive Boeing/NASA research effort, ending in Dec 1998.
 
lehpron
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RE: Supersonic Wake Turbulence

Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:46 pm

I had realized that whatever else I planned to mention had little to do with the topic, which was one of the reasons why I hadn't been in here. The other was that this past week was a bunch of professors knowing students don’t do homework over spring break so they pile-drove us real good beforehand.

Smart on their part, I found it to be:  crazy 

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 25):
Its good to see someone else who wants another SST around soon.

Oh, I don't just want it, I believe everyone needs it. I believe this product should be aimed directly at the real customer: passengers.

Quoting Jush (Reply 26):
Although not always easy to understand for me it was a pleasure to read.



Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 28):
I wish I had some questions or something, but I'm in a bit over my head as it is.

In my experience, people learn by analogies and relating the material to themselves. Ask away, I will attempt to simplify the stuff. I don’t mind honestly, its spring break and I got the time.  Big grin Just its almost 4 am here and I need to get my laundry and take a shower then go the freak to sleep... yawn 

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
Great post Lephron, yes I suppose I am a pessimist, but I don't believe in dangling false hopes, hence my (and many others) anger at Sir BS Branson's media posturing in 2003-he and we both knew what he wanted was not going to happen. Same holds for the future, the last best chance for a SST-NG in the forseeable future, was the abortive Boeing/NASA research effort, ending in Dec 1998.

Not aimed at you  Wink, but whenever other members mention either there is no market or the sonic boom and oil prices prevent it, I get really ticked. I have designs that mitigate the boom, have a substantial market and use less fuel than a turbojet -- but nobody knows that. But I'm not ready to share my knowledge unless I can back it up with some kind of data. Selling an idea and teaching are pretty much the same thing. You folks are spending time and money to understand this post, such as your membership fee, electricity, etc. Don't waste it, ask questions.

I'm not asking anyone to have faith in me (I prefer you believe in the data I may present). Next year I'll be a rookie engineer, a newbie that has to earn the respect of my side of the industry, which may be more 5 years.

I'm only one man now, I am aware of the difficulty of a potentially expensive project as a cheap 200-seat low boom sonic airliner, while presenting the appropriate data to show that it is not only possible but necessary. I believe a sonic transport must exist by 2025 or so. A380's market will fragment by then, and it is a sonic that will effectively take its place by also replacing some 787/A350's on certain routes. This plane (may not even be mine) will change the entire aviation landscape forever. Don't hold your breath, it will be a while.

Like I said above, if any o ya'll got questions, just fire out with them, don't hesitate, let me try to figure out what you want. Big grin
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.

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