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George Welch - Who??? First Man to exceed the speed of sound depending on the parameters maybe


JohnT
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I was having a think which is always a dangerous thing to do and was wondering that while I have always known that Chuck Yeager was the first man to exceed the speed of sound in an airplane I had a sneaking feeling that while his and Bell Aircraft achievement was incredible  that given the X-1 was unable to take off and land itself that in a sense something was missing .  So that took me to so who did fly through the sound barrier in a machine that could do all the things a conventional aircraft could?

 

As always Google (other search engines are available) is your friend and I came across this article which taught me quite a lot I didn't know. 

 

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0113.shtml

 

Poor George was a civilian and any chance of him being considered for the glory was clearly not going to happen as far as the US military are concerned.

 

In fairness his early flights in the XP-86 were not instrumented for that purpose so they don't count.  The author notes though that the untouched and unchanged XP-86 went through the sound barrier officially once instrumented and one might conclude that the early XP-86 flights did the same and predated the Bell X-1 flight.

 

However no kudos to George or North American

 

Still they got the last laughs.  The XP-86 went on to be the Sabre and one of the best selling jets of its generation whereas Bell.......

 

Also George has the title of first man through the barrier in a conventional aircraft in level flight - the F-100 Super Sabre

 

 

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3 minutes ago, JohnT said:

 

 

Also George has the title of first man through the barrier in a conventional aircraft in level flight - the F-100 Super Sabre

 

 

Was he not also an unfortunate casualty of the F-100 development programme? If I recall, he was killed during an in flight break up of an F-100C?

 

John

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5 minutes ago, Beermonster1958 said:

Was he not also an unfortunate casualty of the F-100 development programme? If I recall, he was killed during an in flight break up of an F-100C?

 

John

 

Yes indeed.  Thats mentioned at the end of the article.

 

he was also a "Pearl Harbor" P-40 pilot and is credited with 4 Japanese aircraft shot down that day

 

Quite a guy

 

more on him here

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Welch_(pilot)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, JohnT said:

 

Yes indeed.  Thats mentioned at the end of the article.

 

he was also a "Pearl Harbor" P-40 pilot and is credited with 4 Japanese aircraft shot down that day

 

Quite a guy

 

more on him here

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Welch_(pilot)

 

 

That'll teach me to pay attention!!  Thanks for the info John😃👍

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9 minutes ago, Beermonster1958 said:

That'll teach me to pay attention!!  Thanks for the info John😃👍


As I always tell clients but never get round to doing myself always read the small print :D  And do I?? Aye right. 
 

The Wiki article has a different slant but I always kind of thought that you could stick a big rocket on a sled point it down from umpteen thousand feet and rocket power and gravity does the rest. 
 

Going “bang” on level flight after taking off and still landing an airplane you can use again and again without external aids seems more noteworthy somehow. Having said that just getting through the compressibility problems is worthy enough. 

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In the summer of 1994 I did an internship (paid!) for a master’s degree in historic preservation at Edwards Air Force Base and posed the question of who was first through the sound barrier, Welch or Yeager, to the base history office. The consensus was that Welch was undoubtedly first by a few days, but only unofficially, because, as you point out, the F-86 he flew was not instrumented. So Yeager gets the credit.

 

I also had a chance to speak with Gen. Paul Cardenas (now deceased), the project manager for the YB-49, who confirmed this account. He told me he was on the base the day Welch did it and heard the sonic boom. He told me he and his associates were “stunned” and “excited” at the sound, because they knew instantly what it was and its significance, but were almost immediately told to keep quiet about it until it was officially announced. They were surprised later when It was announced that Yeager was the first.

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On 26/10/2021 at 11:43, JohnT said:


As I always tell clients but never get round to doing myself always read the small print :D  And do I?? Aye right. 
 

The Wiki article has a different slant but I always kind of thought that you could stick a big rocket on a sled point it down from umpteen thousand feet and rocket power and gravity does the rest. 
 

Going “bang” on level flight after taking off and still landing an airplane you can use again and again without external aids seems more noteworthy somehow. Having said that just getting through the compressibility problems is worthy enough. 

While I was (this time) properly reading the article, I found a link to a related story involving another F-100 accident. The test pilot  actually (only just)  survived a bail out from an F-100 in a  dive at Mach 1.05!

Happily, he made a full recovery despite very serious injuries.

 

John

Edited by Beermonster1958
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Just to add:

Accidently it could have happened too. Why? 

Because if you enter a cold air layer it may cause the supersonic speed.

The square root of the product of Gasconstant with Kappa with absolute Temperatur is the speed of sound. Kappa is constant with 1.4. It is the adiabathic exponent.

This explaination should also be taken into account. 

Happy modelling 

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On 29/10/2021 at 18:14, dov said:

Just to add:

Accidently it could have happened too. Why? 

Because if you enter a cold air layer it may cause the supersonic speed.

The square root of the product of Gasconstant with Kappa with absolute Temperatur is the speed of sound. Kappa is constant with 1.4. It is the adiabathic exponent.

This explaination should also be taken into account. 

Happy modelling 

I understand all that up to the word "because"!
😉😊

 

John

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I hope it is to understand Beermonster 1958:

 

R AIR          Kappa        T             T abs         T  Kelvin        vm/sec       vkm/h

287,00       1,40     25,00         273,15       298,15       346,12       1246,0196

287,00       1,40     20,00         273,15       293,15       343,20       1235,5275

287,00       1,40     15,00         273,15       288,15       340,26       1224,945535

287,00       1,40     10,00         273,15       283,15       337,30       1214,271355

287,00       1,40       5,00         273,15       278,15       334,31       1203,502507

287,00       1,40        0,00        273,15       273,15       331,29       1192,636425

287,00       1,40      -5,00         273,15       268,15       328,24       1181,670429

287,00       1,40    -10,00        273,15       263,15       325,17        1170,60171

287,00       1,40    -15,00        273,15       258,15       322,06        1159,427326

287,00       1,40    -20,00        273,15       253,15       318,93        1148,144191

287,00       1,40    -25,00        273,15       248,15       315,76        1136,749068

287,00       1,40    -30,00        273,15       243,15       312,57        1125,238554

287,00       1,40    -35,00        273,15       238,15       309,34        1113,609071

287,00       1,40    -40,00        273,15       233,15       306,07        1101,856852

287,00       1,40    -45,00        273,15       228,15       302,77        1089,977928

287,00       1,40   -50,00        273,15       223,15       299,44         1077,968109

287,00       1,40   -55,00        273,15       218,15       296,06         1065,82297

287,00       1,40   -60,00        273,15       213,15       292,65         1053,537832

287,00       1,40   -65,00        273,15       208,15       289,20         1041,107739

 

Excample: Fly 1100 km/h TAS and you have a Temperature delta of 5° so you can exceed the spped of sound! 1101 by -40° is the speed of sound,

you fly 1100 and enter -45° and the spped of sound is than 1089,97 km/h. This is supersonic!

 

Happy modelling

 

 

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So, to make your brain work: If anybody else flies more slowly, just 1050 TAS in Km/h he may also fly supersonic.

The TAS is absolute and supersonic or not is relative!

This is the difference, which did not find the way through for everybody.

The Mach number does not tell you a speed, just a relation!

The relation between speed of an object to the speed of sound of the enviroment sourounding this particular object.

Happy modelling

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On 10/26/2021 at 11:00 AM, JohnT said:

I was having a think which is always a dangerous thing to do and was wondering that while I have always known that Chuck Yeager was the first man to exceed the speed of sound in an airplane I had a sneaking feeling that while his and Bell Aircraft achievement was incredible  that given the X-1 was unable to take off and land itself that in a sense something was missing . 

 

 

Actually the X-1 could and did take off under it's own power although it was normally carried by the B29 to altitude. The US Navy had a few digs at the USAF about not having broken the sound barrier from the ground so Chuck did a flight taking off under the X-1's own power and breaking the sound barrier to shut them up on 5th January 1949.

 

Duncan B

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On 29/10/2021 at 18:14, dov said:

Just to add:

Accidently it could have happened too. Why? 

Because if you enter a cold air layer it may cause the supersonic speed.

The square root of the product of Gasconstant with Kappa with absolute Temperatur is the speed of sound. Kappa is constant with 1.4. It is the adiabathic exponent.

This explaination should also be taken into account. 

Happy modelling 

 

Correct, although the specific heat is denoted as lowercase Gamma, not Kappa, isn't it? 

 

isentrop.gif

 

I had no idea about the XP-86 going supersonic first! 

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Hallo

 

The γ in your formula is my κ.

κ = Cp/Cv

κ is called the adiabatic exponent. 

In Thermodynamics, it is interestingly a worldwide common syntax.

Yes, beside κ γ is also used. For sure in the German world.

The adiabatic exponent is calculated approximately from κ =  {f + 2}/ {f} where f is the number of degrees of freedom of movement of a particle (atom or molecule).

This is the mystery.

All thrilled and learned in engineering college from our teacher, a former assistant of von Braun in Peenemünde.

In comparison:

The

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schallgeschwindigkeit

To

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersonic_speed

See, what I mean?

 

Happy modelling

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4 hours ago, Duncan B said:

Actually the X-1 could and did take off under it's own power although it was normally carried by the B29 to altitude. The US Navy had a few digs at the USAF about not having broken the sound barrier from the ground so Chuck did a flight taking off under the X-1's own power and breaking the sound barrier to shut them up on 5th January 1949.

 

Duncan B

Thanks Duncan - I didnt know that.  Every day a school day

 

talking of which.......................

 

51 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

 

Correct, although the specific heat is denoted as lowercase Gamma, not Kappa, isn't it? 

 

isentrop.gif

 

I had no idea about the XP-86 going supersonic first! 

 

25 minutes ago, dov said:

Hallo

 

The γ in your formula is my κ.

κ = Cp/Cv

κ is called the adiabatic exponent. 

In Thermodynamics, it is interestingly a worldwide common syntax.

Yes, beside κ γ is also used. For sure in the German world.

The adiabatic exponent is calculated approximately from κ =  {f + 2}/ {f} where f is the number of degrees of freedom of movement of a particle (atom or molecule).

This is the mystery.

All thrilled and learned in engineering college from our teacher, a former assistant of von Braun in Peenemünde.

In comparison:

The

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schallgeschwindigkeit

To

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersonic_speed

See, what I mean?

 

Happy modelling

 

 

Can the Mods give Wellsprop and Dov a ban for making me feel really really really really stupid  :D  I struggle with a airbrush pressures but thats mind blowing:boom:

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22 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Can the Mods give Wellsprop and Dov a ban for making me feel really really really really stupid  :D  I struggle with a airbrush pressures but thats mind blowing:boom:

 

Don't worry, I'm stupid too, I've just retained a certain amount of fairly useless information 😂

 

Is there any serious consideration that Geoffrey de Havilland (junior) could have broken the sound barrier in 1946 when the dh108 broke up?

 

After all, John Derry took the aircraft passed mach 1 in 1948. 

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Is there any serious consideration that Geoffrey de Havilland (junior) could have broken the sound barrier in 1946 when the dh108 broke up?

Not at all.

The aircraft design was prone in many aspects.

Major design errors or at this time unknown aspects was the reason for the loss of 3 a/c and 3 lifes.

The basic knowledge of back-swept wing and supersonic effects were brand new and not at all researched well.

DeHavilland was too eager, just much faster as research at his time. 

Look at the Comet.

Here the dynamic stress analyses was simple unknown!

For the engine, so that wing roots broke!

The stress analyses for a pressure cabin was ill-calculated!

The next major issue was the rotation speed at take off.

Unknown.

The price were lots of lifes.

Cunningham saved deHavilland.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cunningham_(RAF_officer)

 

Happy Modelling

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That Welch went through the sound barrier before Yeager is debated, I must have read plenty of article in favour and plenty against.

In any case what can not be debated is how remarkable an aircraft the F-86 was ! While air forces all over the world experimented with supersonic flight here was the prototype of a combat aircraft designed for mass production that could easily pass M1 in a dive. A couple years later the Sabre became operational and after another year it was in combat over Korea...

Edited by Giorgio N
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  • 2 weeks later...

I always thought the thing that made Yeager's achievement notable - apart from the fact that it was well measured - was that he did it in controlled, level flight.

 

Welch may well have got there first. Some speculate that some German rocket pilots may have done it, I assume in a Komet. But Yeager is the first person we know for sure to achieve it. Much like Budweiser Rocket's claim on the land speed record. It may well have done it, but they can't prove beyond doubt it did, and the Blue Flame's well measured and documented effort kept the honours.

 

I did find this short article from an ex F-15 pilot quite interesting.

 

https://hushkit.net/2020/12/09/who-was-the-first-supersonic-man-former-f-15c-pilot-takes-a-dive-into-supersonic-tails-of-the-unexpected/

 

 

 

 

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There are all sorts of claims to have exceeded the sound barrier before Yeager/Welch, some of them clearly totally dodgy, some less so, but entirely due to the formation of shock waves resulting in the pitot probe sending false messages to the air speed indicator.  Superficially the Komet or Me.262 claims appear reasonable enough but in both cases the combination of wing sweep and wing thicknesses (thickness/chord ratio) produce severe drag rises between 0.8 and 0.9 which make it impossible. 

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Oh, here is one interesting part I must clarify:

 

An aircraft gets on different areas of the complete surface supersonic first.

It starts on the wing upper surface and fuselage areas.

Not at all surfaces at once.

  1. So, if you say supersonic, do you mean the aircraft 100% went supersonic ore just some specific areas?
  2. Real supersonic speed means the hole aircraft flyes more than Mach 1.0 
  3. If you pass a cold air layer you may have at the entry Mach 0.95, inside the layer 1.01 and outside again 0.98.

What I do not know, is, if one partial area can cause supersonic boom, without the aircraft by itself flyes supersonic.

 

Yeager was the first who fullfilled with X-1 all criteria.

Everything else is simple guessing.

 

Speed records of the F-86 are: 1079,841 km/h / 1124,137 km/h / 1151,883 km/h

That means in an temperature of     -50°C           -30°C                   -20°C                  is this Mach 1.0!

According to the temperature is the altidued.

 

Here we can say: In Russia it is easier to fly supersonic. Yes it is. In Alaska too!

 

Beside this, what were the Russians doing? It is also part of the world?

 

Happy modelling    

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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe the first through the sound barrier is thought to be the German test pilot of one of those 1945 vertical take off rocket things. However, as the feat was achieved very, very briefly in a vertical dive at around 300 feet it’s generally held not to count...

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1 hour ago, wombat said:s. However, as the feat was achieved very, very briefly in a vertical dive at around 300 feet it’s generally held not to count...


Yes, I see the problem. 300 feet vertical at Mach 1 it’s difficult to separate “boom” from “bang”

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The problem with that story (oft-repeated by folks who use the term 'research' in the way we'd use the term 'my mate reckons') is that the #1 XP-86 was damaged at the start of its first flight and flew subsequent sorties with the gear locked down. The effects of flight #1 resulted in (among other things) the scissor-action nose gear door of the F-86A/D/E/F/K/L and meant that Welch could not have exceeded Mach 1 even if he'd been stupid enough to do so. And incidentally, Al Conover was flying the XP-86 for NAA at this time but strangely gets barely a mention.

 

So the whole "Welch/sound barrier" topic has no foundation in anything other than a conspiracy theory. But unfortunately, despite both NAA and USAF contemporary documentation being very specific on the circumstances of the XP-86 eventually exceeding Mach 1 (in early 1948), it is still not enough it seems.

 

It would appear to be far more difficult to disprove a statement with no fact behind it than one with extensively documented proof. Tis a strange world we live in.

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