Warplanes: October 1, 2000


French Rafale fighter.--Stephen V Cole

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a new program known as the Quiet Supersonic Platform. The goal is to produce a 100,000-pound aircraft able to travel 6,000 nautical miles at Mach 2.4 with only a fraction of the sonic boom now created by supersonic flight. This technology could become a new bomber, recon plane, and/or supersonic transport. Aircraft companies and universities are to get various research grants to find new technologies. Some ideas include aspirated compressors (which might produce less noise and use less fuel), ceramic engine cores able to handle higher temperatures, heating the air around the aircraft, laminar airflow over the wings, foamed metal fuselage plates including tiny


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