Current Project: Supersonic Travel

One of my current projects involves a paper tube, a "G" motor, and a big boom. Yep, I'm going to build a model rocket that creates a sonic boom.
However, that is easier said than done... Here is the beginning of my technical report on this project:
I have discovered that it isn’t hard to design a rocket to go supersonic. I’m guessing the most challenging part of this project would be building it to withstand high airspeeds, yet still light enough to go that fast. Thus, here is the goal of this project:
Goal—To build a rocket that flies faster than the speed of sound and creates an audible sonic boom, built strong enough to withstand such high airspeeds.
To Fly Faster Than the Speed of Sound
Model rocketry is probably the only
hobby that can travel faster than the speed of sound (mach 1). But you can’t just build any old model rocket and expect it to break the sound barrier. It has to be a sleek, lightweight, high-thrust rocket. I’ve had to tweak my design several times to get it just right, and I probably will tweak it now and then in the future. However, there are 4 essential design features:
I hope to have it finished by July of this year, just in time for the Anoka County Fair. I'll be entering a few projects in the Aerospace category of 4H, hopefully this one included.
I am pretty excited about this project, and while I only have a vague design thus far, I hope to post some more information the farther along I get on it. I may post some pictures in the next month or two as well!


Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that you hear aircraft sonic booms because the bow shockwave propigates off of the aircraft and is able to travel toward the ground. On a rocket the shockwave would be horizontal to the ground thus never reaching the ground so you can hear the boom. I have seen many rockets hit mach and some 2x Mach but I have never heard a sonic boom.

DTH Rocket said...

Aha! I think you've got it! I knew there was another reason. I was trying to think of it, and I think you are right. I think I am going to edit my post, and thank you for bringing this to my attention.

DTH Rocket said...

I know it's possible though. I've heard one once - a high-power rocket made a sonic boom immediately after it had been launched. So if it can accelerate to the speed of sound before it gets too far over head, the boom might be heard.

cj said...

Thats amazing! I've never heard of model rockets making a sonic boom!

You really have a gift! -cj

DTH Rocket said...

Thank you, but there's no guarantee that it will work... :D