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A New Regime Reading
Comprehension Questions

Directions:
After reading the story A New Regime, answer the questions below using complete sentences.

1. The author compares Yeager and the research team to whom?
Explorers of the New World centuries ago.


2. Why do you think the author makes this comparison?
Because these people were exploring new territories just like the explorers of old and were breaking a barrier (the sound barrier) just like the explorers broke the barrier of crossing a huge ocean (the Atlantic Ocean).


3. Name the two aircraft that are in this story. Tell which one is the mothership and which one is the experimental aircraft.
B-29 bomber was the mothership and the X-1 was the experimental aircraft.


4. What were these flight tests trying to accomplish?
They were testing an aircraft and the theories they had about supersonic flight to see if an aircraft could safely fly at supersonic speeds.


5. As the aircraft flew closer to supersonic speed what did Yeager's aircraft experience?
The aircraft was buffeted by pressure waves.


6. Give the date that officially marks the beginning of supersonic flight.
October 14, 1947 officially marks the beginning of supersonic flight.


7. Describe what happens aeronautically to an aircraft as flies through the transonic regime into the supersonic regime.
At Mach 1 or during transonic flight, the aircraft actually catches up with its own pressure waves. These pressure waves turn into one big shock wave that buffets the aircraft. The shock wave also creates high drag on the aircraft and slows the aircraft's speed. As the aircraft passes through the shock wave it is moving faster than the sound it makes. The shock wave forms an invisible cone shape. When the shock wave hits the ground it causes a sonic boom.


8. What causes a sonic boom?
Pressure waves turn into one big shock wave that buffets the aircraft. The shock wave also creates high drag on the aircraft and slows the aircraft'9s speed. As the aircraft passes through the shock wave it is moving faster than the sound it makes. The shock wave forms an invisible cone shape. When the shock wave hits the ground it causes a sonic boom.


9. From what was the X-1's shape modeled?
The X-1 got its shape from a .50 caliber machine gun bullet.


10.Why did the aeronautical engineers use thin, straight wings on the X-1?
Thin, straight wings lower the amount of drag the aircraft would encounter at transonic speed.


11.How did they improve the pilot's ability to control the X-1 during flight?
Engineers and researchers designed a new tail section that improved the ability of the stabilizer and the elevator to control the aircraft.


12.What does the author compare Yeager's X-1 flight to as it flies from the transonic speed through the supersonic speed?
The author compares the flight to riding a bucking bronco that turns into a loping Arabian. The flight goes from a rough ride to a smooth ride.


13.What speed did the X-1 reach on this historic flight?
The X-1reached the speed of 1.07 Mach or about 700 miles per hour.


14. What did this flight prove?
This flight proved that flying at supersonic speeds could be safely done.
 
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