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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 08:55 AM
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Boeing studies how to drop bomb at speed of sound
Boeing studies how to drop bomb at speed of sound
Staff report
Posted : Wednesday Nov 28, 2007 6:04:51 EST

On todays aircraft releasing a bomb at faster than the speed of sound would likely result in the bomb hitting the airplane. So as the Air Force seeks to develop its next-generation bomber, it must figure out how to safely release a bomb at supersonic speeds.

According to a Boeing Co. press release, the company has done just that, working with the Air Force on a new technology called active flow control.

Boeing said researchers from Boeing Phantom Works and the Air Force Research Laboratory used a rocket sled and active flow control to successfully release an MK-82 Joint Direct Attack Munition Standard Test Vehicle at about twice the speed of sound from a weapons bay approximately the size of that of a B-1B Lancers bomb bay.

The active flow control configuration used in the rocket sled test is a tandem array of microjets in front of the weapons bay, the release said. Wind tunnel testing indicated that, without active flow control, the JDAM test vehicle would have returned to the bay.

The 846th Test Squadron and the Support Systems unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems designed the sled used in the test.

At 65,700 pounds, the sled was 26,000 pounds heavier than any sled tested in more than 10 years but was faster by 400 feet per second. In the 57-year history of the Holloman High-Speed Test Track, it was the heaviest sled train to reach Mach 2, the Boeing release said.

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