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Encyclopedia > Waverider
Boeing X-51 forebody is an example of cone-derived waverider
Boeing X-51 forebody is an example of cone-derived waverider

A waverider is a hypersonic aircraft design that improves its supersonic lift-to-drag ratio by producing a lifting surface built out of the shock waves being generated by its own flight, a technique known as compression lift. To date the only aircraft to use the technique is the Mach 3 supersonic XB-70 Valkyrie, which was waverider-like with its drooping wingtips. The waverider remains a well-studied design for high-speed aircraft in the Mach 5 and higher hypersonic regime, although no production design has used the concept to date. An effective Waverider craft requires an extremely characteristic shape, and this has made the concept a popular design for craft in science fiction. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata X51waverider. ... Image File history File linksMetadata X51waverider. ... Artist concept of X-51A (US AFRL) The Air Force Research Laboratorys X-51 Scramjet-Waverider is being built by Pratt & Whitney and Boeing. ... Waverider is a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. ... Boeing X-43 at Mach 7 In aerodynamics, hypersonic speeds are speeds that are highly supersonic. ... Flying machine redirects here. ... In aerodynamics, the lift-to-drag ratio, or L/D ratio (ell-over-dee, as opposed to ell-dee), is the amount of lift generated by a wing, compared to the drag it creates by moving through the air. ... Introduction The shock wave is one of several different ways in which a gas in a supersonic flow can be compressed. ... In aerodynamics, compression lift refers to an aircraft that uses shock waves generated by its own supersonic flight to generate lift. ... An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. ... A United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in transonic flight. ... The North American XB-70 Valkyrie was conceived for the Strategic Air Command in the 1950s as a high-altitude bomber that could fly three times the speed of sound (Mach 3). ... An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...

Contents

History

The waverider concept was first developed by Terence Nonweiler of the Queen's University of Belfast, and first described in print in 1951 as a re-entry vehicle. It consisted of a delta-wing platform with a low wing loading to provide considerable surface area to dump the heat of re-entry. At the time he was forced to use a greatly simplified 2D model of airflow around the aircraft, which he realized would not be accurate due to spanwise flow across the wing. While attempting to develop simplified 3D equations to model the aircraft, he noticed that the shock wave would lead to high pressure under the wing, which could be used for lift. This is the basic principle of the waverider, and was more fully developed in later research. The Queens University of Belfast (QUB) is a university in Belfast, Northern Ireland; the university is often called Queens University Belfast. ... The delta wing is a wing planform in the form of a triangle, named after the Greek uppercase delta (letter) which is a triangle (Δ). Its use in the so called tailless delta, i. ... In aerodynamics, wing loading is the loaded weight of the aircraft divided by the area of the wing. ...


In the 1950s, the British started a space program based around the Blue Streak missile, which was, at some point, to include a manned vehicle. Armstrong-Whitworth were contracted to develop the re-entry vehicle, and unlike the US space program they decided to stick with a winged vehicle instead of a ballistic capsule. Between 1957 and 1959, they contracted Nonweiler to develop his concepts further. This work produced a pyramid-shaped design with a flat underside and short wings. Heat was conducted through the wings to the upper cool surfaces, where it was dumped into the turbulent air on the top of the wing. The Blue Streak missile was a British ballistic missile designed in 1955. ... Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd was a major British manufacturing company of the early years of the 20th century. ... Image:Vostok Raumkapsel in der Endmontage. ... For other meanings, see pyramid (disambiguation). ...


In 1960, work on the Blue Streak was canceled as the missile was seen as being obsolete before it could enter service. Work on waverider then moved to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), where it continued until 1965 as a research program into high-speed (Mach 6) civilian airliners. During this period at least one waverider was tested at the Woomera Rocket Range, mounted on the nose of an air-launched Blue Steel missile, and a number of airframes were tested in the wind tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center. This article needs cleanup. ... An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. ... An Airbus A340 airliner operated by Air Jamaica An airliner is a large fixed-wing aircraft with the primary function of transporting paying passengers. ... Type Nuclear stand-off missile Nationality UK Era Cold War Launch platform Aircraft Target History Builder Avro Date of design Production period Service duration 1963-1970 Operators UK RAF Variants One/mod for low-level delivery Number built 53 operational live rounds Specifications Type Diameter 1. ... Aerial View of Moffett Field and NASA Ames Research Center. ...


In 1962 Nonweiler moved to Glasgow University to become Professor of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. That year his Delta Wings of Shapes Amenable to Exact Shock-Wave Theory was published by the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and earned him that society's Gold Medal. In this paper the "classic" waverider is described, a modification of the original Armstrong-Whitworth design. In the new design the wings were angled down towards the tips, and the shock waves being generated from their leading edges interacted to form a single flat "plate" shock under the fuselage. The shock wave itself was a lifting surface, generating the needed lift with little physical interaction with the airframe, and dramatically lowering heating. Two to three years later the concept briefly came into the public eye, due to the airliner work at the RAE that led to the prospect of reaching Australia in 90 minutes. Newspaper articles lead to an appearance on Scottish Television. The University of Glasgow is the largest of the three universities in Glasgow, Scotland. ... For the Daft Punk song, see Aerodynamic (song). ... Fluid mechanics is the subdiscipline of continuum mechanics that studies fluids, that is, liquids and gases. ... Gold Medal is an album by American band The Donnas, released in 2004. ... Scottish Television (now legally known as STV Central Ltd and referred to on-air as STV) is Scotlands largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since August 31, 1957. ...


Hawker Siddeley examined the waverider in the later 1960s as a part of a three-stage lunar rocket design. The first stage was built on an expanded Blue Steel, the second a waverider, and the third a nuclear-powered manned stage. This work was generalized in 1971 to produce a two-staged reusable spacecraft. The 121-foot (36.9 m) long first stage was designed as a classical waverider, with airbreathing propulsion for return to the launch site. The upper stage was designed as a lifting body, and would have carried an 8000-pound (3.6 t) payload to low Earth orbit. Hawker-Ciggerley was a group of UK aircraft manufacturing companies formed as a result of the merger of Hawker Aircraft with Armstrong Siddeley. ... A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earths surface. ...


During the 1970s most work in hypersonics disappeared, and the waverider along with it.


In 1981, Maurice Rasmussen at the University of Oklahoma started a waverider renaissance by publishing a paper on a new 3D underside shape riding the shock wave from a conical projection, as opposed to Nonweiler's simple 2D 'caret' design riding the shock from a flat nose. These shapes have superior lifting performance and less drag. Since then, whole families of cone-derived waveriders have been designed using more and more complex conic shocks, based on more complex software. This work eventually led to a conference in 1989, the First International Hypersonic Waverider Conference, held at the University of Maryland. University of Oklahoma, abbreviated OU, is a coeducational public research university located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma founded in 1890. ... Look up cone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


One last development of the waverider is the Hypersonic Sail Waverider, which uses a rogallo wing as the lifting surface. The primary purpose for this design is to create a light-weight disposable lifting surface for interplanetary spacecraft to use while maneuvering over planets with an atmosphere. If used over Venus for instance, the spacecraft could aeromaneuver with the lift provided by the waverider to a degree that no gravitational slingshot could hope to achieve. The Rogallo flexible wing is a self-inflating system that was tested for the Gemini space capsule recovery. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... In orbital mechanics and aerospace engineering, a gravitational slingshot or gravity assist is the use of the gravity of a planet or other celestial body to alter the path and speed of a spacecraft. ...


Design

During re-entry, hypersonic vehicles generate lift only from the underside of the fuselage. The underside, which is inclined to the flow at a high angle of attack, creates lift in reaction to the vehicle wedging the airflow downwards. The amount of lift is not particularly high, compared to a traditional wing, but more than enough to maneuver given the amount of distance the vehicle covers. Atmospheric entry is the transition from the vacuum of space to the atmosphere of any planet or other celestial body. ... The fuselage can be short, and seemingly unaerodynamic, as in this Christen Eagle 2 The fuselage (from the French fuselé spindle-shaped) is an aircrafts main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. ... In this diagram, the black arrow represents the direction of the wind. ... For other uses, see Wing (disambiguation). ...


Most re-entry vehicles have been based on the blunt-nose reentry design pioneered by Theodore von Kármán. He demonstrated that a shock wave is forced to "detach" from a curved surface, forced out into a larger configuration that requires considerable energy to form. Energy expended in forming this shock wave is no longer available as heat, so this shaping can dramatically reduce the heat load on the spacecraft. Such a design has been the basis for almost every re-entry vehicle since, found on the blunt noses of the early ICBM warheads, the bottoms of the various NASA capsules, and the large nose of the Space Shuttle. In fluid mechanics a Riabouchinsky solid is a technique used for approximating boundary layer separation from a bluff body using potential flow. ... Theodore von Kármán (SzÅ‘llÅ‘skislaki Kármán Tódor) (May 11, 1881 – May 6, 1963) was an engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics during the seminal era in the 1940s and 1950s. ... Introduction The shock wave is one of several different ways in which a gas in a supersonic flow can be compressed. ... A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ... This article is about the American space agency. ... This article is about the space vehicle. ...


The problem with the blunt-nose system is that the resulting design creates very little lift, meaning the vehicle has problems maneuvering during re-entry. If the spacecraft is meant to be able to return to its point of launch "on command", then some sort of maneuvering will be required to counteract the fact that the Earth is turning under the spacecraft as it flies. After a single low-earth orbit, the launching point will be over 1000 km to the east of the spacecraft by the time it flies over again after one full orbit. A considerable amount of research was dedicated to combining the blunt-nose system with wings, leading to the development of the lifting body designs in the U.S. The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ... A low Earth orbit (LEO) is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km. ... The lifting body is an aircraft configuration where the body itself produces lift. ... For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ...


It was while working on exactly one such design that Nonweiler developed the waverider. He noticed that the detachment of the shock wave over the blunt leading edges of the wings of the Armstrong-Whitworth design would allow the air on the bottom of the craft to flow spanwise and escape to the upper part of the wing through the gap between the leading edge and the detached shock wave. This loss of airflow dramatically reduced the amount of lift being generated by the waverider (up to a quarter), which led to studies on how to avoid this problem and keep the flow trapped under the wing. The Leading Edge is a Speculative fiction magazine founded in 1981, located in Provo, Utah, and which has published stories by Dave Wolverton and Orson Scott Card, among others. ...


Nonweiler's resulting design is a delta-wing with some amount of negative dihedral — the wings are bent down from the fuselage towards the tips. When viewed from the front, the wing resembles a caret symbol (^) in cross section, and these designs are often referred to as carets. The more modern 3D version typically looks like a rounded letter 'M'. Theoretically, a star-shaped waverider with a frontal cross-section of a "+" or "×" could reduce drag by another 20%. The disadvantage of this design is that it has more area in contact with the shock wave and therefore has more pronounced heat dissipation problems. The delta wing is a wing planform in the form of a triangle, named after the Greek uppercase delta (letter) which is a triangle (Δ). Its use in the so called tailless delta, i. ... In geometry, the dihedral is the angle between two planes. ... The fuselage can be short, and seemingly unaerodynamic, as in this Christen Eagle 2 The fuselage (from the French fuselé spindle-shaped) is an aircrafts main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. ... For other uses, see Caret (disambiguation). ... A 3-D view of a beverage-can stove with a cross section in yellow. ... For other uses, see Heat (disambiguation) In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is energy transferred from one body or system to another due to a difference in temperature. ...


Waveriders generally have sharp noses and sharp leading edges on their wings. The underside shock-surface remains attached to this. Air flowing in through the shock surface is trapped between the shock and the fuselage, and can only escape at the rear of the fuselage. With sharp edges, all the lift is retained.


Even though sharp edges get much hotter than rounded ones at the same air density, the improved lift means that waveriders can glide on re-entry at much higher altitudes where the air density is lower. A list ranking various space vehicles in order of heating applied to the airframe would have capsules at the top (re-entering quickly with very high heating loads), waveriders at the bottom (extremely long gliding profiles at high altitude), and the Space Shuttle somewhere in the middle. Airframe means the mechanical structure of an aircraft[1] and as generally used does not include the engines. ... The word capsule (from the Latin capsula, a small box), has many similar meanings in English: In botany, a capsule is a type of dry fruit as in the poppy, iris, foxglove, etc. ... This article is about the space vehicle. ...


Simple waveriders have substantial design problems. First, the obvious designs only work at a particular Mach number, and the amount of lift captured will change dramatically as the vehicle changes speed. Another problem is that the waverider depends on radiative cooling, possible as long as the vehicle spends most of its time at very high altitudes. However these altitudes also demand a very large wing to generate the needed lift in the thin air, and that same wing can become rather unwieldy at lower altitudes and speeds. An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. ... Radiative cooling is the condition in which a body loses more energy by radiation than it gains from its surroundings. ...


Because of these problems, waveriders have not found favor with practical aerodynamic designers, despite the fact that they might make long-distance hypersonic vehicles efficient enough to carry air freight. FedEx DC-10 Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. ...


Some researchers controversially claim that there are designs that overcome these problems. One candidate for a multi-speed waverider is a "caret wing", operated at different angles of attack. A caret wing is a delta wing with longitudinal conical or triangular slots or strakes. It strongly resembles a paper airplane or rogallo wing. The correct angle of attack would become increasingly precise at higher mach numbers, but this is a control problem that is theoretically soluble. The wing is said to perform even better if it can be constructed of tight mesh, because that reduces its drag, while maintaining lift. Such wings are said to have the unusual attribute of operating at a wide range of mach numbers in different fluids with a wide range of Reynolds numbers. The delta-wing is a wing planform in the form of a triangle. ... The term, longitudinal means front-to-back or top-to-bottom as opposed to transverse which means side-to-side. In automotive engineering, the term, longitudinal refers to an engine in which the crankshaft is oriented along the long axis of the vehicle, front to back. ... A leading edge slot on a Stinson 108-3. ... A Strake is part of a boat or ship. ... Diagram of a traditional paper plane. ... The Rogallo flexible wing is a self-inflating system that was tested for the Gemini space capsule recovery. ... A fluid is defined as a substance that continually deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress regardless of the magnitude of the applied stress. ... In fluid mechanics, the Reynolds number is the ratio of inertial forces (vsρ) to viscous forces (μ/L) and consequently it quantifies the relative importance of these two types of forces for given flow conditions. ...


The temperature problem can be solved with some combination of a transpiring surface, exotic materials, and possibly heat-pipes. In a transpiring surface, small amounts of a coolant such as water are pumped through small holes in the aircraft's skin (see transpiration and perspiration). This design works for Mach-25 spacecraft re-entry shields, and therefore should work for any aircraft that can carry the weight of the coolant. Exotic materials such as carbon-carbon composite do not conduct heat but endure it, and they tend to be brittle. Although they are not widely used at present, heatpipes may be an excellent, unexplored solution: they are passive (no pumps), they conduct heat better than most exotic solid materials, and they would disperse heat away from the active parts of the wing. A heat pipe is a heat transfer mechanism that can transport large quantities of heat with a very small difference in temperature between the hot and cold interfaces. ... A coolant, or heat transfer fluid, is a fluid which flows through a device in order to prevent its overheating, transferring the heat produced by the device to other devices that utilize or dissipate it. ... Transpiration is the evaporation of excess water from aerial parts and of plants, especially leaves but also stems, flowers and fruits. ... Perspiration (also called sweating or sometimes transpiration) is the production and evaporation of a fluid, consisting primarily of water as well as a smaller amount of sodium chloride (the main constituent of table salt), that is excreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. ... Mock-up of a space shuttle leading edge, showing brittle failure of RCC due to foam impact reproducing the conditions of Columbias final launch. ... A material is brittle if it is subject to fracture when subjected to stress i. ... A heat pipe is a heat transfer mechanism that can transport large quantities of heat with a very small difference in temperature between the hot and cold interfaces. ... Passive has several meanings: In grammar it describes a grammatical voice. ... Disperse is a Christian Rock band from Southern Indiana. ...


Popular fictional use

This article is about the term used in science fiction, anime, and manga. ... “Animé” redirects here. ... Zeta Gundam redirects here. ... The anime TV series Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ or Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta ) aired on Japanese TV from 1986–1987, was the third Gundam series, and a direct followup to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. ... MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam This article is about a fictional weapon from the Universal Century timeline of the anime Gundam metaseries. ...

External links

  • Aerospace Web: Hypersonic Waveriders
  • Hypersonic Waveriders
  • Accurate Automation Corporation has built several model waveriders for low-speed study, including LoFLYTE and NASA's X-43
  • ASTRA Waverider

  Results from FactBites:
 
Waverider - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2025 words)
A waverider is a hypersonic aircraft design that improves its supersonic lift-to-drag ratio by producing a lifting surface built out of the shock waves being generated by its own flight, a technique known as compression lift.
The waverider concept was first developed by Terence Nonweiler of the Queen's University of Belfast, and first described in print in 1951 as a re-entry vehicle.
During this period at least one waverider was tested at the Woomera Rocket Range, mounted on the nose of an air-launched Blue Steel missile, and a number of airframes were tested in the wind tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Waverider (1756 words)
A waverider is a type of supersonic aircraft design that improves its supersonic lift-to-drag ratio[?] by "surfing" on its own shockwave.
To date no aircraft has been based on the waverider design with the possible exception of the XB-70 Valkyrie, possible because it is debatable how much lift the aircraft gained from compression lift.
The waverider remains a well-studied design for high-speed aircraft in the Mach 5 and higher hypersonic regime.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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