[tlhIngan Hol] DaHjaj wanI'

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Wed Oct 14 12:50:58 PDT 2020

tlhoS vIt ngoDHeyvam…

A former girlfriend’s father was an Air Force pilot during the time of the Bell X-1 and he told me that several pilots he knew briefly broke the sound barrier in power dives flying conventional jets before the X-1. It was a rough, and sometimes lethal flight, since the shock waves formed asymmetrically as they formed in different places at different times on different surfaces of the aircraft, since the shape of the plane accelerates air more in some places than others, often making the flight controls ineffective.

The P-38 Lightning’s wings, between the fuselage and the twin engine nacelles, went supersonic when the aircraft reached Mach 0.61 during power dives, with the shock wave forming an enlarged virtual wing shape that extended several feet beyond the trailing edge of the wing, resulting in a shift of center of lift backwards from the center of gravity far enough that the elevators lacked sufficient pitch stability to pull out of the dive. 

They call this flight characteristic “tuck”, which rhymes with the word most pilots express when they experience this phenomenon.

The first pilots to discover this all died. One creative one instead went inverted, which slowed the plane down enough to roll over and pull out and report what happened. All P-38s were all grounded for months until a solution was found. An electric spoiler/air brake was added to the underside of this wing section on all existing and future examples of this aircraft which could, in less than two seconds slow the plane down by basically tilting the shock wave enough to stall to create enough drag to slow down and regain control. The engineer who came up with this joked that he spent a million dollars to make the P-38 go from Mach 0.61 to Mach 0.62 without crashing.

And that was in a prop plane.

Supersonic power dives in jets usually involved loss of control, which might or might not result in a survivable flight attitude and speed. Survivors usually had paint streaks on the inside of the canopy from the pilot’s helmet. For that matter, Chuck Yeager actually punched a hole in his canopy with his helmet on the X1-B during a flight that went above 70,000 feet at above Mach 2. Test piloting is not for sissies.

Chuck Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier IN LEVEL FLIGHT in an aircraft specifically designed to fly supersonic, the Bell X-1. Even so, he could only do it for tens of seconds before running out of fuel.

Meanwhile, even the SR-71, which could reach Mach 3.2, had a rough ride right around Mach 1.0 because of the asymmetrical formation of shockwaves. They performed a “dipsy-dive” maneuver to shove the aircraft through the sound barrier as quickly as possible to reach flight stability on the other side, once the whole shape of the shock wave had formed…

… which is probably why the world land speed record has stood at Mach 1.016 since 1997, and will probably never be beat. That was probably a very rough ride.

[We now return to our regularly scheduled program.]

charghwI’ vaghnerya’ngan — slower than the speed of sound since 1954...

rInpa’ bomnIS be’’a’ pI’.

> On Oct 14, 2020, at 1:35 PM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> “Captain Yeager Became First Person To Fly Faster Than Speed Of Sound On This Day In 1947”
> https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/us-news/us-air-force-captain-yeager-passed-sound-barrier-for-the-first-time-on.html <https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/us-news/us-air-force-captain-yeager-passed-sound-barrier-for-the-first-time-on.html>
> == Bell X-wa' Glennis 'IH ==
> “Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis”
> tera' jaj wa'maH loS, jar wa'maH, DIS wa' Hut loS Soch, puvDI' BELL X-wa', DoDaj vItlh law' wab Do vItlh puS.  Do patlhvam chavta'bogh muD Duj wa'DIch moj 'oH.  X-wa' 'or SepjIjQa' muD beq CHARLES E. "CHUCK" YEAGER HoD.  Do patlh vItlhqu' chavta'.  qaStaHvIS wa' rep, vaghvatlh javmaH loS qelI'qam lenglaH, wabDo wa' vI' pagh jav.  YEAGER be'nal vanmeH, muD DujvaD "GLENNIS 'IH" pong YEAGER.
> "On October 14, 1947, the Bell X-1 became the first airplane to fly faster than the speed of sound.  It was piloted by U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager who named the aircraft Glamorous Glennis in tribute to his wife. [...] He reached a speed of 1127 kilometers per hour (700 miles per hour), or Mach 1.06 at an altitude of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet)."
> Cf. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) tour app [9/2016]
> http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/GoFlight <http://www.klingonwiki.net/En/GoFlight>
> --
> Voragh
> Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
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