Hypersonic Aircraft -Testing

Ambience: Radio Communication
music

How do you test an unmanned aircraft that goes faster than any aircraft has gone before? It’s just one of the challenges of working at hypersonic speeds, many times faster than the speed of sound. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“All stations we have a go for launch”

Engineer Paul Reukauf and his team at Dryden Flight Research Center recently tested an unmanned aircraft, the X-43, which can zoom at speeds of up to Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound. Here’s how they did it.

“It’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”

“When you’re designing these very high-speed vehicles, one of the problems is is that we don’t have good facilities, like wind tunnels, which we can test for long periods of time to essentially try out the shapes and see what the lift and drag and performance of the engines are going to be for any significant length of time. So, we’ve had to create design tools which incorporate the proper mathematics. And we can use those tools to analyze how the vehicle’s going to react to the air flows at these speeds. We put the vehicle in a wind tunnel because we could make the wind tunnel go that fast, and then, we flew it in free flight to make sure that the wind tunnel results actually predicted the performance we were getting from the vehicle, so that we had some confidence that we could predict faster ones. Free flight means that we flew it in the atmosphere like a normal airplane would fly. And that’s always the test the benchmark. When you can take an airplane propulsion system and fly it out in the atmosphere, then you can compare all of your test results to make sure that you actually predicted, accurately, what the machine was going to do.“

“The RV is stable at this time“

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA. I’m Jim Metzner.
music

Hypersonic Aircraft -Testing

How do you test an aircraft designed to go many times the speed of sound?
Air Date:04/06/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ambience: Radio Communication
music

How do you test an unmanned aircraft that goes faster than any aircraft has gone before? It’s just one of the challenges of working at hypersonic speeds, many times faster than the speed of sound. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“All stations we have a go for launch”

Engineer Paul Reukauf and his team at Dryden Flight Research Center recently tested an unmanned aircraft, the X-43, which can zoom at speeds of up to Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound. Here’s how they did it.

“It’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”

“When you’re designing these very high-speed vehicles, one of the problems is is that we don’t have good facilities, like wind tunnels, which we can test for long periods of time to essentially try out the shapes and see what the lift and drag and performance of the engines are going to be for any significant length of time. So, we’ve had to create design tools which incorporate the proper mathematics. And we can use those tools to analyze how the vehicle’s going to react to the air flows at these speeds. We put the vehicle in a wind tunnel because we could make the wind tunnel go that fast, and then, we flew it in free flight to make sure that the wind tunnel results actually predicted the performance we were getting from the vehicle, so that we had some confidence that we could predict faster ones. Free flight means that we flew it in the atmosphere like a normal airplane would fly. And that’s always the test the benchmark. When you can take an airplane propulsion system and fly it out in the atmosphere, then you can compare all of your test results to make sure that you actually predicted, accurately, what the machine was going to do.“

“The RV is stable at this time“

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA. I’m Jim Metzner.
music