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Sound barrier

  1. May 20, 2010 #1
    Hope this is the right place for this question, but it is very inetresting to me so I wanted to ask some experts.

    Can a propeller driven aircraft break the sound barrier?

    My answer, no.
    Any opinions will help
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2010 #2


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    Some aircraft company made a propeller driven plane where the propeller blades operated at super-sonic speed. Although the pilot was shielded from the shock waves, any personel in the general area were adversely affected by the constant bombardment of shockwaves, so they scrapped the program.
  4. May 20, 2010 #3
    Im not sure how a propeller would be different than a jet. They each function by pushing air behind them.
  5. May 20, 2010 #4
    I'm sure they can...at least in a dive. There's even some crazy guy that wants to break the sound barrier! (as in, by himself, with no machines)

    As for using a propeller to propel an airplane through the sound barrier...I don't think so. But I don't know why :P
  6. May 20, 2010 #5


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    Link to wiki article, note the aircraft itself was not super-sonic:

  7. May 20, 2010 #6
    A standad propeller aircraft won't be albe to power itsself past the spund barrier. A prop blade is like an aerofoil, so when the flow begins to transition from subsonic to supersonic the flow seperates and you lose thrust. This is less of a problem for a turbofan, and no problem at all for a turbojet (infact they like going above the speed of sound).

    I'm sure that a specifically designed propeller would be able to achieve this though. There are a few guys on here that know about planes, so they'd be better suites to answer this.
  8. May 22, 2010 #7
    In my belief I don't think a proppeled plane is aero-dynamic enough and it wouldn't have enough power to make the sound barrier. Many jet planes have made this but a proppelar plane I don't think so.

    (Sorry about the bad spelling) hehe
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