Coffeehouse Thread

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France and Japan working on successor to the Concorde

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    Sven Groot

    According to the article, it might be capable of Mach 5. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

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    £1 million a year research? I dont think that will get them very far..

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    My thoughts exactly. £1M a year might pay for a few professors and some computer time for CFD work. Not much chance of any actual development with that budget.

    As for Mach5. I don't think so. Mach 2 is the realistic limit for aircraft of conventional construction flying in the atmosphere and even then you need to be way up high (60,000 feet) to get a reasonable fuel burn. Only the SR71 has gone regularly to Mach 3 and that was at a very high price in terms of complexity (pumping the fuel throughout the fuselage on the way to the engines to keep the thing from overheating is just one of the unusual techniques employed) and fuel burn (fancy re-fueling every 3 hours?).

    NASA flew an experimental unmanned craft last year to test a scramjet at approximately Mach 5. It's way out of the range of conventional engines and you need to be right up in the outter layers of the atmosphere to avoid the craft burning up at those speeds.

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