Bi-Plane Design Breaks Sound Barrier Without A Sound
A new bi-plane design could break the sound barrier, sans sonic boom…
Researchers from MIT and Stanford University have redesigned a 1950’s bi-plan concept with the aim of developing a new supersonic aircraft that can break the sound barrier without creating an audible sonic boom.
Sonic booms are created when an object begins travelling faster than the speed of sound. At this point the leading and trailing sound waves (which are actually pressure waves) are pulled together as the plans passes the sound barrier, when the pressure waves meet, they create a single shock wave, this is the sonic boom.
Bi-Plane Design Breaks Sound Design
The bi-plane was originally by German engineer Adolf Busemann, in the 1950’s. He theorized that triangular wings connected at the tip could effectively cancel out the boom, however his original designs lacked sufficient inner airflow and too much drag to enable such a craft to reach such speeds.
By applying several modifications, the new design should not only eliminate the sonic boom and travel at speeds of up to Mach 5, but it should also reduce fuel consumption by up to 50%.
Sonic booms are so loud that many countries, including America, do not allow supersonic aircraft to travel over land. A quieter design like the bi-plane could however pave the way for the new generation of supersonic passenger aircrafts.
- Andrew Tarantola: New Bi-Plane Design Promises All of the Sonic, None of the Boom. Gizmodo, 03/15/2012.