The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri on August 23, 1967 · 64
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The Kansas City Star from Kansas City, Missouri · 64

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Kansas City, Missouri
Issue Date:
Wednesday, August 23, 1967
Page:
64
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"9 " ek 4 $- MJL the Kansas city stab Wednesday august 2 1967 SSTs Must Go Slow Over the Land ? By Walter Sullivan ‘ (C1M7 New York Times New' Service) ’EW YORK— One evening in September 1946 a new secretly-designed jet plane of ! Goeffrey Raoul de Havilland streaked across England in preparation for an attempt to break the world’s speed record irtthen 616 mlies an hour) V- -At the controls was Sir Geoffrey’s chief test pilot his son Goeffrey Raoul de Havilland 'Apparently the plane shot well 1 phst the record mark perhaps - surpassing the speed of sound ' then flew apart and dropped -into the Thames estuary kill- iqg the pilot ’ “Yammering banshees” lyjsre pulling at his wings as he fcoke the sound barrier said y:Me account of the accident 'Theoretical calculations had suggested dire consequences to any aircraft that broke the ‘ N barrier although projectiles jiad been doing so since the in-fj®ntion of the cannon IT HAS TURNED out that the “sound barrier” was largely a myth While there are special stresses on an aircraft that surpasses the speed of sound they are far from in-' surmountable but a related ' problem— the sonic boom— has proven less tractable Early in die era of jet flight pilots found that by diving - their planes they could surpass the speed of sound and ' generate a pressure wave that would strike the ears of those on the ground like a cannon shot In 1953 however the destructive effect of such a “sonic boom” was demonstrated A - pilot practicing for an air show pulled out of a dive at 8000 feet producing a boom that broke virtually every window at an air base below him damaging floors and door frames as well THE PRESIDENT’S office of science and technology in Washington has made public the results of an intensive study of sonic boom effects carried out last summer and winter over Edwards Air Force base Calif The boom is not a single event produced by “breaking inio© the sound barrier” as many i believe It is an intense pres- sure wave that follows the track of a supersonic plane across the landscape When the speed of a plane is less than that of sound the plane chases the sound waves that it generates but never catches up with them At speeds above that of sound waves generated by parts of the plane particularly the nose and tail buildup forming a cone-shaped surface of intense pressure with the plane at its apex If this swift-moving cone touches the ground before being dissipated bv distance it strikes the ears as a boom FOR THE CALIFORNIA tests two wooden frame houses were built and heavily instrumented to measure pressures Similar instruments were installed on the long-span roof of the air base bowling alley Volunteers were stationed in the test houses and in the yard Observers also were stationed at 10 nearby farms to watch thousands of beef cattle dairy cows sheep and poultry Then subsonic and supersonic aircraft made hundreds of flights overhead at speeds greater and less than that of sound Volunteers were asked to score the relative “accepti-bility” of each event The purpose was to assess public reaction to the projected supersonic transports or SSTs The results helped reinforce the view that the SSTs now under development will not be allowed to operate over land at supersonic speeds The closest plane to the SST in operation today is the XB-70 the experimental supersonic bomber that is about 185 feet long The SSTs will be about 300 feet long The XB-70 made 20 flights over the test area at heights ranging from 31000 to 72000 feet above sea level (the height of the base itself is 2300 feet Eighty-five microphones were spread over the landscape and it was found that the boom produced by a plane flying at twice the speed of sound (roughly 1300 miles an hour) at 60000 feet could be heard on the ground 25 miles to either side of the plane’s track At 37000 feet and somewhat slower speed the boom extended only 15 miles to either side but was more intense At both heights there was a sharp cut-off of the sound beyond a certain distance because sound waves traveling towards the earth obliquely were bent by the atmosphere enough to miss the earth entirely TIffi TESTS SHOWED that a boom can be annoying even when the plane is above 60000 feet where the SSTs will operate Apart from birds the farm animals paid little attention to the booms More than 1 10000 window panes were inventoried at the air base before the tests and 700 were recorded as already broken or missing Only three broken panes could be attributed to the test booms However the postmistress at nearby Tenachapi was looking at her clock when a boom allegedly smashed the post-office window and that of a department store The time was 10:43 a m Radar records indicated that a supersonic bomber was close by at the time A peculiarity of sonic booms is that they may be twice’ as strong in one spot as they are a few hundred yards away This has been attributed to wavy layers in the lower atmosphere that bend the sound waves away from or towards the earth’s surface Observations by the Environmental Science Services administration explored this effect The Goodyear blimp Mayflower was stationed 2000 feet overhead for some fly-bys to record booms originating much farther aloft This confirmed that most boom distortions originate in the more turbulent lower 2000 feet of air Those who have studied the preliminary results of these tests believe they rule out routine overland flights by SSTs unless they can be designed to reduce the booms substantially This may prove to be possible and operating procedures may be devised that take advantage of atmospheric peculiarities New Device A Nemesis To Burglars T 7 (Sclent Service) London— No bank or ware-house need ever be broken into again during the quiet hours Equipment developed primarily for military use is available to pick up the vibration in the ground from the lightest footfalls even against a background of heavy traffic The existence of the system was first disclosed in the recent Mountbatten report on the shortcomings of the British prison system It is described as the only device which offers security from outside a protected area It consists of a special type of microphone linked to a receiver smaller than a briefcase andi giving either audible or visual indication of an unwanted presence The signals are so presented that it is possible to differentiate between man and animal or a herd and group of solcfierrs To Measure Solar Rays i7 N (®1967 New York Times News Service) EW YORK -Two American spacecraft-one on its way to Venus and the other returning from Mars — are now lined up in such a way with Earth and the Sun that scientists can get their first 3-point measurements of the electrically charged solar rays streaming through space This is expected to enable scientists to determine more accurately the velocity of such rays and the- rate at which they diminish as they move farther away from the Sun The rays called solar plasma emanate from eruptions on the Sun that continuously shoot out protons the nuclei of hydrogen atoms The streams sometimes flow steadily sometimes in stormlike gusts that could be a radiation hazard to astronauts in flight From now through early October scientists at the Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasa dena Oahf will try to get radioed data charting the ways of such solar winds Two Mariner spacecraft whose flights are directed by the laboratory for the National Aeronautics and Space administration moved into position for such an experiment August 10 They are about 70 million miles apart with Earth roughly in the middle on a line drawn from the Sun The high-energy solar particles move at almost the speed of light (186000 miles a second) and hence can travel from one spacecraft to another in a matter of minutes By Chile Getting i Russian ’Scone v A Ji Santiago Chile— Russian astronomers and technicians afe installing a Maksutov telescope on Robles mountain 44 miles from Santiago they claim is the only one of its type in the world The $200000 astrograph measures the motions of relatively near stars by using distant galactic systems as reference points Astronomers believe Chile is becoming one of the most important observation points in ’ the world beeaaa atftljqjh irr- ic conditions are favjirphleand comparing the density vetoci- stars visible only in the Seuth- f" 1 "l ai ern Hemisphere cma Mo view American universities ty temperature and direction of plasma at the two spacecraft at the same time sden- tists hope to learn the nature long have maintained efcerva of these streams t Chile : -- “ N 7r Orbital Mirror Plan Out By Richard Lewis (Service of the Chicago Sun-Times) I HE National Academy of Sciences may have 1 established a precedent by chilling with cold logic a hot idea of the civilian space agency and the Defense department to put a huge mirror in orbit On a clear night the orbital mirror would have reflected sunlight to illuminate ground areas several hundred miles in diameter with the intensity of fuU moonlight Such a satellite reflector system was considered by Defense department scientists as a possible way of lighting up villages roads and fields in Vietnam at night It would make security easier to maintain ' BUT A STUDY by a special committee of the academy apparently has been enough to shoot the project down It has been abandoned The study said that while there was no evidence that the orbital mirror would do “scientific damage” to astronomy its effects on some species of plants and animals might be Harmful Widespread artificial illumination at night might dislocate biological rhythms of normal growth the study suggested It might interfere with the ripening of crops the migration of birds and the egg-laying of hens If the satellite mirror system were orbited the academy study said it should be jaquipped with the means to destroy it by a signal from the ground if it caused damage Moreover the study said the academy’s space science board could see no “scientific merit for such a satellite system commensurate with its costs to the public and its nuisance to science” THE IDEA OF an orbital mirror is attributed to Prof Hermann Oberth Romanian- 5- O? v- W ' - - ’ born rocket oioneer in many Last fall a study was assigned to the space agency’s Marshall Space Flight center Huntsville Ala' Preliminary studies of feasibility potential usefulness and cost were contracted out by Marshall Ger- fects from illumination at night could be reversed if they appeared harmful and were noticed in time Consequently the experiment would not cause concern as long as a large orbiting reflector could be brought down if necessary the report said THE MIRROR PROJECT recalled an earlier Defense department project called West Ford developed by the Lincoln laboratories of Massachusetts Institute of Technology The idea of West Ford was to place in a 2000-mile orbit 400 million tiny hair-like copper needles These would form a long-term means of re-laying radio srgnals each copper wire acting as a tiny com-' munications satellite The experiment succeeded in orbiting the copper needles on the second attempt in 1963 despite protests from astronomers throughout the United States and Europe that the needles would interfere with radio astronomy After preliminary communications tests that turned out to be fairly satisfactory the experiment was not repeated The needles did not disperse as expected Eventually they disappeared ON THE MIRROR proposal the national academy study concluded that biological ef- Hope Fuel Will Reduce Fire Danger U s: Army scientists have developed a jellied gas fuel and a crash-resistant fuel tank they hope wiU be safer and less flammable for airplanes helicopters and on carrier decks The fuel is being prepared for flight testing Representatives of the Army Aviation Material laboratories said it probably would be “years” before the fuel is perfected 7 Protein Intake Data Y ielded Bv Hair Roots (Science Service) The condition of a person’s hair roots can show whether he is suffering from protein malnutrition Examination of the root bulb and the external root sheath offers a quick and inexpensive tool for public health workers especially in areas where sophisticated equipment is not readily available three nutritional scientists at the University of California at Berkeley say They tried the method on eight men in good physical condition keeping them in a research ward for three months for a series of 15-day experiments The men aged 24 to 29 were fed a liquid formula diet three times daily which provided each man either 75 grams of protein a day in the form of egg albumen or no protein at all In the latter case dextri-maltose was added to equal the calories of the egg albumen The diet remained at 2800 calories a day throughout the study Samples of 100 hairs were plucked from the back of each subjects head and examined in a dissecting microscope Successive samples were taken from slightly different locations both in the protein-deprived men and in the controls The ones deprived of protein had less hair color and the root bulbs were atrophied m Wm oosrs ' fofic ypR:CE iSItllli I?:1 m mi m BIG-NOSED AIRCRAFT snouts in line are parked on 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