Don't worry about it, I had a more detailed question and was running late to class, so I shortened it.
You are right though, I was relating this to just about every other hypersonic wave-rider concept that I have seen which had the ramp up front to lift and for the engines to compress the air. For all the data I could find, none refer ed to subsonic performance with these configurations. I had to try to estimate a body based on a delta wing, with a high dihedral and an angle of attack equalling the body's ramp angle. My results: A plane of mass similar to a 757 with twice the wing area wouldn't takeoff until about 265kts!
With performance like this, its subsonic cruise would be shotty. Since the B-1 slows to subsonic to drop bombs (which it takes care of the AoA issue with its swinging-wings), my questions are:
Does the payload disperse below Mach 1 requiring the vehicle to waste valuable energy to slow and re-accelerate?
Does the payload get dropped 'in space', like a projectile?
If, heaven forbid (at least in my mind), the bay doors open while in the atmosphere and sonic, would payload dropped experience a kind of ground effect resulting the sudden change from the still-air bay environment to the high pressure compression zone of the lower body outside? Would the munition 'float' for a a second (potential bay recontact) before dropping away?
|Quoting Lumberton (Reply 3):|
How can it be a space plane if it's powered by scramjets?
Air gets thinner as you go up higher, it doesn't go to zero, per se. For a scramjet powered plane to work it must already be in motion many times the speed of sound. Air compresses approximately per square of the Mach number. Thin air combined with really high speed thickens the air for the engines to use and lifting the plane. The higher you go the faster you need to be. This was/is the idea behind SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) vehicles that used hybrid engines of rockets and scramjets.
Speed isn't the only thing; Aeroenvironment (funded by NASA) built a solar-electric-powered airplane that flew above 25 miles up at around 20 KTAS, that plane compensated by having a massive aspect ratio and was really light.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.