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advanced concept studies for supersonic commercial transports entering service in the 2018-2020 period phase 2Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LM), working in conjunction with General Electric Global Research (GE GR) and Stanford University, executed a 19 month program responsive to the NASA sponsored "N+2 Supersonic Validation: Advanced Concept Studies for Supersonic Commercial Transports Entering Service in the 2018-2020 Period" contract. The key technical objective of this effort was to validate integrated airframe and propulsion technologies and design methodologies necessary to realize a supersonic vehicle capable of meeting the N+2 environmental and performance goals. The N+2 program is aligned with NASA's Supersonic Project and is focused on providing system level solutions capable of overcoming the efficiency, environmental, and performance barriers to practical supersonic flight. The N+2 environmental and performance goals are outlined in the technical paper, AIAA-2014-2138 (Ref. 1) along with the validated N+2 Phase 2 results. Our Phase 2 efforts built upon our Phase 1 studies (Ref. 2) and successfully demonstrated the ability to design and test realistic configurations capable of shaped sonic booms over the width of the sonic boom carpet. Developing a shaped boom configuration capable of meeting the N+2 shaped boom targets is a key goal for the N+2 program. During the LM Phase 1 effort, LM successfully designed and tested a shaped boom trijet configuration (1021) capable of achieving 85 PLdB under track (forward and aft shock) and up to 28 deg off-track at Mach 1.6. In Phase 2 we developed a refined configuration (1044-2) that extended the under 85 PLdB sonic boom level over the entire carpet of 52 deg off-track at a cruise Mach number of 1.7. Further, the loudness level of the configuration throughout operational conditions calculates to an average of 79 PLdB. These calculations rely on propagation employing Burger's (sBOOM) rounding methodology, and there are indications that the configuration average loudness would actually be 75 PLdB. We also added significant fidelity to the design of the configuration in this phase by performing a low speed wind tunnel test at our LTWT facility in Palmdale, by more complete modelling of propulsion effects in our sonic boom analysis, and by refining our configuration packaging and performance assessments. Working with General Electric, LM performed an assessment of the impact of inlet and nozzle effects on the sonic boom signature of the LM N+2 configurations. Our results indicate that inlet/exhaust streamtube boundary conditions are adequate for conceptual design studies, but realistic propulsion modeling at similar stream-tube conditions does have a small but measurable impact on the sonic boom signature. Previous supersonic transport studies have identified aeroelastic effects as one of the major challenges associated with the long, slender vehicles particularly common with shaped boom aircraft (Ref. 3). Under the Phase 2 effort, we have developed a detailed structural analysis model to evaluate the impact of flexibility and structural considerations on the feasibility of future quiet supersonic transports. We looked in particular at dynamic structural modes and flutter as a failure that must be avoided. We found that for our N+2 design in particular, adequate flutter margin existed. Our flutter margin is large enough to cover uncertainties like large increases in engine weight and the margin is relatively easy to increase with additional stiffening mass. The lack of major aeroelastic problems probably derives somewhat from an early design bias. While shaped boom aircraft require long length, they are not required to be thin. We intentionally developed our structural depths to avoid major flexibility problems. So at the end of Phase 2, we have validated that aeroelastic problems are not necessarily endemic to shaped boom designs. Experimental validation of sonic boom design and analysis techniques was the primary objective of the N+2 Supersonic Validations contract; and in this Phase, LM participated in four high speed wind tunnel tests. The first so-called Parametric Test in the Ames 9x7 tunnel did an exhaustive look at variation effects of the parameters: humidity, total pressure, sample time, spatial averaging distance and number of measurement locations, and more. From the results we learned to obtain data faster and more accurately, and made test condition tolerances easy to meet (eliminating earlier 60 percent wasted time when condition tolerances could not be held). The next two tests used different tunnels. The Ames 11 ft tunnel was used to test lower Mach numbers of 1.2 and 1.4. There were several difficulties using this tunnel for the first time for sonic boom including having to shift the measurement Mach numbers to 1.15 and 1.3 to avoid flow problems. It is believed that the 11 ft could be used successfully to measure sonic boom but there are likely to be a number of test condition restrictions. The Glenn 8x6 ft tunnel was used next and the tunnel has a number of desirable features for sonic boom measurement. While the Ames 9x7 can only test Mach 1.55 to 2.55 and the 11 ft can only test Mach 1.3 and lower, the Glenn 8x6 can test continuously from Mach 0.3 to 2.0. Unfortunately test measurement accuracy was compromised by a reference pressure drift. Post-test analysis revealed that the drift occurred when Mach number drifted slightly. Test measurements indicated that if Mach number drift is eliminated, results from the 8x6 would be more accurate, especially at longer distances, than results from the 9x7. The fourth test in the 9x7, called LM4, used everything we learned to comprehensively and accurately measure our new 1044-02 configuration with a full-carpet shaped signature design. Productivity was 8 times greater than our Phase 1 LM3 test. Measurement accuracy and repeatability was excellent out to 42 in. However, measurements at greater distances require the rail in the aft position and become substantially less accurate. Further signature processing or measurement improvements are needed for beyond near-field signature validation.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Morgenstern, John
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Palmdale, CA, United States)
Buonanno, Michael
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Palmdale, CA, United States)
Yao, Jixian
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Murugappan, Mugam
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Paliath, Umesh
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Cheung, Lawrence
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Malcevic, Ivan
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Ramakrishnan, Kishore
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Pastouchenko, Nikolai
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Wood, Trevor
(GE Global Research Center Niskayuna, NY, United States)
Martens, Steve
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Viars, Phil
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Tersmette, Trevor
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Lee, Jason
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Simmons, Ron
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Plybon, David
(General Electric Aviation Cincinnati, OH, United States)
Alonso, Juan
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Palacios, Francisco
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Lukaczyk, Trent
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Carrier, Gerald
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2015
Publication Date
July 1, 2015
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 110076.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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