Friday, May 28, 2010

"The Right Stuff" -- 2010 Style

"There's a demon out there, at Mach 5" so the character of Jack Ridley might have read the script yesterday. In what looked like video from The Right Stuff a B-29 B-52 took off from Muroc Edwards AFB and carried aloft the Bell X-1 X-51 for a supersonic hypersonic flight reaching five times the speed of sound. The aircraft was dropped from the plane...

The test got off to a great start...

But, the engine shut down prematurely at Mach 5. It was supposed to reach Mach 6. Is Mach 5 where "the old demon" resides? They'll find out when they try again after what was called a "95% successful" test.
No word as to whether any Beeman's was involved in yesterday's exploits.

The step-by-step process of learning by doing continues in today's world of science and technology, just like it did sixty years ago. Computer models and flight simulators (a more realistic computer model) are useful, but, eventually the thing has to fly!


[for those who are not familiar with the story, there was supposed to be a demon that lived at Mach 1 -- the speed of sound -- that caused every attempt to break the sound barrier to end in disaster until Chuck Yeager finally did it in 1947]

1 comment:

  1. A couple of years ago when Chuck returned for his annual flight exam at the School of Aerospace Medicine, he was still pushing the envelope and flying. He requested to teach, impromptu, any class being held at the school AND went to lunch with a flight surgeon/psychiatrist instead of reading in the waiting room. Always "further and faster".

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