Bowcutt, Kevin G. The Boeing Company, Phantom Works, Huntington Beach, California.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Critical technologies for hypersonic flight
- Design challenge
- Flight experiment and demonstration programs
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Vehicles that travel at hypersonic speed, which is commonly taken to mean five times the speed of sound or faster. There is no sharp boundary between supersonic flight—defined precisely as traveling faster than the speed of sound (Mach one)—and hypersonic flight. Instead, hypersonic speed is more nebulously defined as traveling fast enough that strong shock waves and friction in the gas through which a body travels raise the gas temperature high enough that it begins to chemically react (for example, oxygen and nitrogen dissociate from naturally occurring diatomic molecules into atomic species) and at higher speeds even to ionize (when electrons are stripped from gas molecules) and emit significant radiation. At hypersonic speed the heating of vehicle body surfaces due to air friction also becomes significant and can heat those surfaces to extreme temperatures. See also: Mach number; Hypersonic flight; Shock wave
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information