Hypersonic Aircraft -Surfboard

Ambience: Radio Communication, countdown, Jet Aircraft

“All stations we have a go for launch”

One of the unlikely comic book superheroes of the 1970’s was the Silver Surfer a guy who rode his surfboard through space. He came to mind recently when we heard a description of an aircraft that flies at many times the speed of sound. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“The X-43 is an unusual looking airplane in that it’s been referred to as a surfboard, but one of the things that you want for hypersonic flight is you want the shockwaves to lie very close to the vehicle, and it turns out that the slimmer the vehicle is, the closer the shockwaves lie to the surface of the vehicle. So, consequently, the X-43 is very long and narrow compared to its width.”

Paul Reukauf was deputy project manager of the x-43 hypersonic flight program at Dryden Flight Research Center. He says that the shape of the x-43 aircraft is the key to its ability to fly at hypersonic speeds, up to 10-times the speed of sound.

Ambience: Jet Aircraft

The x-43 is an unmanned aircraft both its size and lack of adequate heat protection make it unsuitable for human flight, so the Silver Surfer will just how to wait awhile. But, hypersonic technology is still in the early stages of development. Researchers hope that it can be applied for multiple purposes in the future.

“The military is most interested now in hypersonic vehicles for what they call rapid global reach where they can get any place in the world in a couple of hours. We also feel this could be used as a cheaper access to space for some kind of a probably unmanned, uninhabited launch vehicle that takes cargo out to the space station or, ultimately, to the moon, perhaps.”

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA.
music

Hypersonic Aircraft -Surfboard

It's not surprising that an aircraft that goes unusually fast would also be unusual looking.
Air Date:04/16/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ambience: Radio Communication, countdown, Jet Aircraft

“All stations we have a go for launch”

One of the unlikely comic book superheroes of the 1970’s was the Silver Surfer a guy who rode his surfboard through space. He came to mind recently when we heard a description of an aircraft that flies at many times the speed of sound. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“The X-43 is an unusual looking airplane in that it’s been referred to as a surfboard, but one of the things that you want for hypersonic flight is you want the shockwaves to lie very close to the vehicle, and it turns out that the slimmer the vehicle is, the closer the shockwaves lie to the surface of the vehicle. So, consequently, the X-43 is very long and narrow compared to its width.”

Paul Reukauf was deputy project manager of the x-43 hypersonic flight program at Dryden Flight Research Center. He says that the shape of the x-43 aircraft is the key to its ability to fly at hypersonic speeds, up to 10-times the speed of sound.

Ambience: Jet Aircraft

The x-43 is an unmanned aircraft both its size and lack of adequate heat protection make it unsuitable for human flight, so the Silver Surfer will just how to wait awhile. But, hypersonic technology is still in the early stages of development. Researchers hope that it can be applied for multiple purposes in the future.

“The military is most interested now in hypersonic vehicles for what they call rapid global reach where they can get any place in the world in a couple of hours. We also feel this could be used as a cheaper access to space for some kind of a probably unmanned, uninhabited launch vehicle that takes cargo out to the space station or, ultimately, to the moon, perhaps.”

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from NASA.
music