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Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Much You Know About High Speed Aerodynamics

NASA

Because breaking the sound barrier isn't that easy...


  1. 1) According to NASA, when air flows across a shockwave (as it does during transonic flight), velocity __________ and temperature __________.

    As air flows across a shockwave, its velocity decreases, and its temperature increases. You can read more about it here: https://history.nasa.gov/SP-367/chapt5.htm#f87 

    As air flows across a shockwave, its velocity decreases, and its temperature increases. You can read more about it here: https://history.nasa.gov/SP-367/chapt5.htm#f87 

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  2. 2) What is shock-induced separation?

    Shock-induced separation is the tendency for the boundary layer to become turbulent aft of the shock wave. Read more about it here: https://history.nasa.gov/SP-367/chapt5.htm#f87

    Shock-induced separation is the tendency for the boundary layer to become turbulent aft of the shock wave. Read more about it here: https://history.nasa.gov/SP-367/chapt5.htm#f87

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  3. 3) The narrow region where stall speed and high speed buffet meet is referred to as ________.

    Coffin corner occurs from the interaction between stall speed and critical mach speed, which are both caused by pressure over your wing.

    Coffin corner occurs from the interaction between stall speed and critical mach speed, which are both caused by pressure over your wing.

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  4. 4) For Mach numbers greater than _______, the frictional heating of the airframe by the air becomes high enough that light weight aluminum can not be used for an aircraft structure.

    At Mach numbers greater than 2.5, aluminum is no longer an option. The SR-71 was made largely of titanium, which has good high temperature characteristics, but is still light enough for aircraft structures. To allow for the expansion, slip joints are used in many places on the SR-71. On the ground, the SR-71 fuel tanks leak, and they do not seal until the aircraft heats up during flight.

    At Mach numbers greater than 2.5, aluminum is no longer an option. The SR-71 was made largely of titanium, which has good high temperature characteristics, but is still light enough for aircraft structures. To allow for the expansion, slip joints are used in many places on the SR-71. On the ground, the SR-71 fuel tanks leak, and they do not seal until the aircraft heats up during flight.

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  5. 5) The speed of sound in the troposphere ________ with altitude, mostly due to __________.

    The speed of sound in the troposphere decreases with altitude, mostly due to a decrease in temperature. Humidity has very little effect on the speed of sound, nor does air pressure by itself.

    The speed of sound in the troposphere decreases with altitude, mostly due to a decrease in temperature. Humidity has very little effect on the speed of sound, nor does air pressure by itself.

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  6. 6) What primary factor determines mach angle?

    Mach angle is the angle a shock wave makes with the direction of motion. The faster you fly above the speed of sound, the lower the angle. Read more about it here: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/machang.html

    Mach angle is the angle a shock wave makes with the direction of motion. The faster you fly above the speed of sound, the lower the angle. Read more about it here: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/machang.html

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You're a little rusty on your high speed aerodynamics...

You scored %. But think about how much you've learned in the last few minutes!

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Not bad, you know quite a bit about high speed aerodynamics.

You scored %. Well done.

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Nailed it!

You scored %. Well done.

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, CFII and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. Corey has been flying since he was 16, and he's pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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