A Miniature Model Is Enough for Full-Sized Science When It Comes to Sonic Booms

1961: Big science is squeezed into a small package for this supersonic transport model. All it takes is a tiny bomber under 3 centimeters long to check out the propagating roar of sonic booms.


This scale model was just 2.54 centimeters (1 inch) long by an almost impossibly-tiny 127 micrometers (0.005 inches) wide, and vaguely resembled the XB-70 bomber aircraft. Even so, it was enough for researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center to check out how sonic booms would spread away from the vehicle when scaled up to full-size and travelling at supersonic speeds.

Image credits: NASA

Contact the author at mika.mckinnon@io9.com or follow her at @MikaMcKinnon.

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