|Japanese computer model of a |
commercial supersonic biplane
|Busemann's concept; as you can see,|
it requires symmetrical wings
The Japanese Tohoku University's research team is experimenting with a plane that has movable wings, eliminating the lift/drag problem in subsonic speeds. The US Stanford/MIT research team has come up with a stationary wing design but with greater wing separation to increase air flow, smoother inner wing surfaces, and curved out wing edges (reduces drag at supersonic speeds). At supersonic speeds, this model is even more flight efficient than the Concorde.
WHAT ARE SONIC BOOMS and why they are so detrimental to supersonic civilian planes
As a plane nears supersonic speeds, tremendous pressure builds up in front of the plane as air-pressure waves (created by the displacement of air by the plane) are compressed together. As the plane exceeds the sound barrier, these pressure waves combine to form shock waves that are similar to wake waves generated by a fast moving boat. The sonic boom is heard during the sharp release of pressure after the shock wave passes through. It is this loud sound that greatly annoys civilians and wildlife alike and is one of the main causes of the premature retirement of the Concorde and the subsequent avoidance for the development of newer supersonic passenger jets. Fortunately, it is possible that the supersonic biplane might breath life back into commercial supersonic air travel.