Hypersonic flight anyone?
In an interesting edition of NOVA (PBS TV series) last night the whole issue
of Supersonic flight was reviewed, Concord et al; I found it fascinating
from a historical point of view.
At the end of the show the commentators talked about a U.S. - Russian
collaboration on Supersonic flight. Apparently the whole issue of Supersonic
passenger liners is being revisited with a lot of money being put into the
program. From what I could glean (between interruptions from my 4 year old
climbing all over me), the last TU-144 (Concordski) is not only in operation
but is in use as a flying test laboratory for research into what could be
the next generation of Supersonic passenger liners.
Whilst surfing the net I came across an article about an airbreathing
Hypersonic plane called the Waverider, designed for flight at Mach 5.
It is so called as it will apparently will ride the Hypersonic shock wave it
produces for improved efficiency. A subsonic prototype is (or was) being
tested up at Edwards AFB in their wind tunnels. I have no more information
as to whether said tests are still in operation. Do any of you?
RELEVANCY TO THIS WEB SITE?
Not so sure, you guys tell me! Seriously though I would like to know from
some of yous what percentage of this technology could be used for a Space
Plane? Being a layman I would think all of it, other than a Spaceplane has
to go alot faster. The heat shielding/dissipation issues would be the same
would they not? Could this be a stepping stone to a Spaceplane? As I said
alot of money is being spent on this stuff, is it money in the wrong
direction or will there be alot of relevancy/help to the private sector.
I am sure there are just as many commonalties as differences DISCUSS...