Review Article Open Access

About Supersonic Flight and Mach 3 Flying

Relly Victoria Virgil Petrescu1
  • 1 Bucharest Polytechnic University, Romania
American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 13 No. 3, 2020, 451-476


Submitted On: 13 August 2020 Published On: 28 August 2020

How to Cite: Petrescu, R. V. V. (2020). About Supersonic Flight and Mach 3 Flying. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 13(3), 451-476.


Aerospace-BAC Concorde was a supersonic passenger aircraft. It was the result of a government treaty between the French and British governments, combining the efforts of Aerospace and British Aircraft Corporation. With only 20 aircraft built in total, the cost of the development phase was a major economic failure. In addition, Air France and British Airways were subsidized by the government to buy the aircraft. Of the commercial supersonic aircraft, Concorde was the most successful, with the Tupolev Tu-144 being the other aircraft. The Tu-144 had a higher top speed, but the consumption was higher and the autonomy was lower than the Concorde. Flying for the first time in 1969, Concorde began its commercial service in 1976 and continued for 27 years. It operated transatlantic flights from Heathrow, London (British Airways) and Charles de Gaulle, Paris (Air France) to JFK, New York and Dulles, Washington; flying at record speeds, it travels these distances in less than half the time of other planes. Concorde also set other records, including the official FAI world record "Westbound Around the World" and "Eastbound Around the World" at speed. Following the sole accident on 25 July 2000, the economic effects following the events of 11 September 2001 and other factors, the flights ceased on 24 October 2003. The last flight took place on 24 November of the same year. Many of the problems were overcome during the research and development of the Concorde project. During the flight, the fuel was moved to optimally position the center of gravity relative to the center of pressure at a certain phase of the flight: At subsonic speeds in front, at supersonic speeds in the rear. The shape of the wings was designed to reduce the effect of this change in forces. A very important feature was its maneuverability. Concorde had the characteristics of a fighter jet that could decelerate very quickly from Mach 1.9 to Mach 0.7 in 20 sec. Concorde was so flexible that in extreme cases he could avoid avoidance. A single accident to the fastest, safest and best aircraft in human history has led to its decommissioning and the slowdown of Mach programs. However, after a certain period, these supersonic programs were resumed all over the world because the need for modern, fast flights was growing, the requirements were also more pressing. Supersonic aerodynamics are simpler than subsonic aerodynamics because air sheets at different points along the plane cannot affect each other. Supersonic jets and rocket vehicles require several times more traction to fire through the additional aerodynamic traction experienced in the transonic region (around Mach 0.85-1.2). At these speeds, aerospace engineers can easily guide the air around the aircraft's fuselage without producing new shock waves, but any change in the transverse area away from the vehicle leads to shock waves throughout the body. Designers use the supersonic surface rule and the Whitcomb area rule to minimize sudden changes in size.

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  • Mach 3
  • Concorde
  • Aerospace
  • Aircraft
  • British Airways