During the last cycle of concept design and wind-tunnel testing, the goal of the low-boom- shaped HSCT concepts (the B-935, the LB-16, and the LB- 1 8) was to meet mission requirements and generate shaped, ground-level pressure signatures with nose shock strengths of 1.0 psf or less. The wind-tunnel tests of these concepts produced results that were partially successful and encouraging although not fully up to expectations. In spite of this, however, these conceptual designs were overly optimistic and not acceptable because: the wing planforms had excessive area; the wing structural aspect ratio was too high; one concept had aft-fuselage rather than under-the-wing engines; and the gross takeoff weights were unrealistically low because of engines that were early, high-tech versions of later, revised, more-realistic engines. The need for reducing the ground-level overpressure shock strengths still existed; a need to be met within more restrictive guidelines of mission performance and gross takeoff weight limitations. Therefore, it was decided that the next conceptual design cycle would focus on decreased nose shock strengths, "boom softening," in the signatures of the Boeing and the McDonnell Douglas baseline concepts rather than low-boom concepts with shaped-signature designs. Overly-optimistic results were not the only problem with these low-sonic-boom concepts. Papers given at the 1994 Sonic-Boom Workshop had demonstrated that the problem of successful nacelle integration on HSCT concepts had only been partially solved. Wind-tunnel pressure signature data, from the HSCT-11B (a.k.a. the LB-18) wind-tunnel model, showed that the Langley HSCT design and analysis method had been successful in reducing the nacelle-volume disturbances in the flow field. This was due.to the engine nacelles mounted behind the wing trailing-edge on the aft fuselage so that no nacelle-wing interference-lift flow-field disturbances were generated. While acceptable from a sonic-boom research point of view, this concept was unacceptable from several practical and structural considerations. Preliminary wind-tunnel pressure signature data from the LB-16 wind-tunnel model, which had the engine nacelles mounted under the wings (the usual location), indicated that the application of the Langley nacelle-integration method had been only partially successful in the reduction of the nacelle-volume with nacelle-wing interference-lift pressure disturbances. So, "boom softening" had to also address the task of successful integration of the engine nacelles, with the engines in the required under-the-wing location. Unless this problem was solved, low-sonic-boom and low-drag modifications to the wing planform, the airfoil shape, and the fuselage longitudinal area distribution could be nullified if the nacelle disturbances added increments to the nose-shock strengths that were removed through component tailoring. In this paper, an arrow-wing boom-softened HSC7 concept which incorporated modifications to a baseline McDonnell Douglas concept is discussed. The analysis of the concept's characteristics will include estimates of weight, center of gravity, takeoff field length, mission range, and predictions of its ground-level sonic-boom pressure signature. Additional modifications which enhanced the softened-boom performance of this concept are also described as well as estimates of the performance penalties induced by these modifications.
1995 NASA High-Speed Research Program Sonic Boom Workshop; Volume 2; 121-136; NASA/CP-1999-209520/VOL2