A quarter sized model of the Lockheed 2000 supersonic airliner, is undergoing low speed handling evaluation in the huge subsonic wind tunnel at the U.
Model undergoing wind tunnel tests
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Background: A quarter sized model of the Lockheed 2000 supersonic airliner, is undergoing low speed handling evaluation in the huge subsonic wind tunnel at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency Research Center at Moffet Field, California.
When an American supersonic transport enters airline service, probably between 1972 and 1975, it will fly close to 2000 miles per hour, and at altitudes above 70,000 feet.
Lockheed says it will be the most tested airlines ever developed.
At the research center, the model is lifted 100 feet into the air and lowered through the clam shell doors at the top of the 40 by 80 foot tunnel. It is positioned on three struts for the low speed handling tests. These tests have verified the existence of an air cushion which is built up beneath the plane during its final approach and landing. The air cushion provides lift during landings and take-offs and should permit the plane to land at relatively slow speeds. Other models of supersonic aircraft developed in the United States use a variable sweep wing to achieve low-speed performance. The mass of tubing draped over each wing of the model is part of the test apparatus. Each tube is attached to a tiny hole in the surface of the model, and serves to transmit surface pressure at various points to recording instruments.
The Lockheed Supersonic Transport that resembles the YF-12A also built by Lockheed, which is now under evaluation by the American Air Force. The YF-12A shown in our film, flies at over 2000 miles an hour at altitudes exceeding 70,000 feet. The air cushion noticed in the model of the Lockheed SST also is displayed by the YF-12A enabling it to land and take off at speeds approximating those of conventional subsonic jets. The YF-12A is an experimental military aircraft. It carries no weapons, but is expected to serve as a kind of flying laboratory in studying the problems of large supersonic aircraft.