Flying Faster Than the Speed of Sound
On October 14, 1947, the sound barrier was broken for the first time in a manned level flight in the Bell X-1 piloted by Chuck Yeager. This remarkable achievement, due to the efforts of many engineers and scientists, marked the beginning of the age of supersonic aircraft. The seminar will examine the contributions of many of this era’s pioneers, including Ackeret, Busemann, Prandtl, Tupolev and many others. The crucial role of the development of turbojet and turbofan propulsion systems will be reviewed. Both U.S., European, and Soviet Union (now Russian Federation) aircraft will be considered. The seminar will conclude with a visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.