Monday, 19 Mar, 2012 Technology

Supersonic Biplane Designed to Fly Without Sonic Boom


A team of researchers at Tohoku University are working on a supersonic biplane that will eliminate sonic booms completely.

As the plane flies through the sky, it is constantly pushing a series of waves of air out of its way. It would be interesting to note that when the plane flies slower than the speed of sound, these waves of air travel at the speed of sound and people on the ground will simply hear just the noise of the airplane.

The phenomenon of sonic boom occurs when the plane reaches the speed of sound. This is when the waves of air cannot go faster than the aircraft and they stack up on each other. This leads to the creation of a shockwave of sound at the front of the aircraft. The shockwave can very unpleasant for those standing on the ground if they get hit by it. In addition, people get also smacked by another shockwave that was created by the negative pressure at the plane's rear. Thus the double boom occurs.

The concept aircraft is called Misora (Japanese word for "sky") and it represents a completely new type of sonic plane. Developed by the Institute of Fluid Science at Tohoku University, the biplane has its wings arranged in a way to reflect the positive and negative shockwaves back at each other, thus zeroing them out.

In such a way it is possible to reach supersonic speeds without generating shockwaves.

[via Dvice]

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