supersonic flight


supersonic flight

      passage through the air at speed greater than the local velocity of sound. The speed of sound (Mach 1) varies with atmospheric pressure and temperature: in air at a temperature of 15 °C (59 °F) and sea-level pressure, sound travels at about 1,225 km (760 miles) per hour. At speeds beyond about five times the velocity of sound (Mach 5), the term hypersonic flight is employed. An object traveling through the Earth's atmosphere at supersonic speed generates a sonic boom—i.e., a shock wave heard on the ground as a sound like a loud explosion.

      The first aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds was a Bell XS-1 (X-1) rocket-powered research plane piloted by Major Charles E. Yeager (Yeager, Chuck) of the U.S. Air Force on October 14, 1947. After being dropped from the belly of a Boeing B-29 mother ship, the XS-1 broke the (local) sound barrier at 1,066 km (662 miles) per hour and attained a top speed of 1,126 km (700 miles) per hour, or Mach 1.06. Thereafter many military aircraft capable of supersonic flight were built, though their speed was generally limited to Mach 2.5 because of problems caused by frictional heating of the skin of the plane. The first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial airplane (or supersonic transport, SST), the Concorde, was built jointly by aircraft manufacturers in Great Britain and France; it made its first transatlantic crossing on September 26, 1973, and entered regular service in 1976. British Airways (British Airways PLC) and Air France stopped flying the Concorde in 2003. The Concorde had a maximum cruising speed of 2,179 km (1,354 miles) per hour, or Mach 2.04.

      The first land-traveling vehicle to break the sound barrier was the ThrustSSC, a British-made car powered by two jet engines from an F-4 Phantom jet fighter. Driven by Andy Green, the ThrustSSC broke the sound barrier for the first time on October 13, 1997, and set an official world land-speed record on October 15 with an average (supersonic) speed of 1,228 km (763 miles) per hour on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • supersonic flight — viršgarsinis skrydis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. supersonic flight vok. Überschallgeschwindigkeitsflug, m rus. сверхзвуковой полёт, m pranc. vol supersonique, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • supersonic flight — A flight at an air speed at which the entire airflow over the aircraft is moving at a speed greater than that of sound …   Aviation dictionary

  • Flight — is the process by which an object achieves sustained movement either through the air (or movement beyond earth s atmosphere, in the case of spaceflight) by aerodynamically generating lift, propulsive thrust or aerostatically using… …   Wikipedia

  • Supersonic transport — The Concorde supersonic transport had an ogival delta wing, a slender fuselage and four underslung Rolls Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 engines. A supersonic transport (SST) is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds… …   Wikipedia

  • Supersonic — For other uses see Supersonic .The term supersonic is used to define a speed that is over the speed of sound (Mach 1). At a typical temperature like 21 °C (70 °F), the threshold value required for an object to be traveling at a supersonic speed… …   Wikipedia

  • Supersonic aircraft — In aviation, a supersonic aircraft is one that is designed to exceed the speed of sound in at least some of its normal flight configurations.OverviewThe great majority of supersonic aircraft today are military or experimental aircraft. Most of… …   Wikipedia

  • flight, history of — ▪ aviation Introduction  development of heavier than air flying machines. Important landmarks and events along the way to the invention of the airplane include an understanding of the dynamic reaction of lifting surfaces (or wings), building… …   Universalium

  • flight — [[t]fla͟ɪt[/t]] ♦♦ flights 1) N COUNT A flight is a journey made by flying, usually in an aeroplane. The flight will take four hours. 2) N COUNT: also N num You can refer to an aeroplane carrying passengers on a particular journey as a particular …   English dictionary

  • flight — W2S3 [flaıt] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(travel)¦ 2¦(flying)¦ 3¦(movement through air)¦ 4¦(stairs)¦ 5¦(escape)¦ 6 flight of fancy/imagination/fantasy 7¦(birds)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; Origin: flyht] 1.) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Flight 714 — Graphicnovelbox| englishtitle=Flight 714 foreigntitle=Vol 714 pour Sydney caption=Cover of the old English edition, using its former title publisher=Casterman date=1968 series= The Adventures of Tintin (Les aventures de Tintin)… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.