Unique Research Challenges for High-Speed Civil Transports 872400
Market growth and technological advances are expected to lead to a new generation of long-range transports that cruise at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds. Current NASA/industry studies will define the market windows in terms of time frame, Mach number, and technology requirements for these aircraft. Initial results indicate that, for the years 2000 to 2020, economically attractive vehicles could have a cruise speed up to Mach 6. The resulting research challenges are unique. They must be met with new technologies that will produce commercially successful and environmentally compatible vehicles where none have existed. Several important areas of research have been identified for the high-speed civil transports. Among these are sonic boom, takeoff noise, thermal management, lightweight structures with long life, unique propulsion concepts, unconventional fuels, and supersonic laminar flow.