Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball Quiet Spike Photo Collection banner
Quiet Spike

NASA F-15B #836 in flight with Quiet Spike attached.

Photo Number: ED06-0187-18
Photo Date: October 3, 2006
Formats: 640x547 JPEG Image (154 KBytes)
1280x1094 JPEG Image (422 KBytes)
3000x2564 JPEG Image (1922 KBytes)
NASA F-15B #836 in flight with Quiet Spike attached. The project seeks to verify the structural integrity of the multi-segmented, articulating spike attachment designed to reduce and control a sonic boom.
Gulfstream Aerospace and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center tested the structural integrity of a telescopic 'Quiet Spike' sonic boom mitigator on a NASA F-15B testbed aircraft. The Quiet Spike was developed as a means of controlling and reducing the sonic boom caused by an aircraft 'breaking' the sound barrier.

Made of advanced composite materials, the Quiet Spike weighed some 470 pounds and extended from 14 feet in subsonic flight to 24 feet in supersonic flight. Since March 2004, when Gulfstream was awarded a patent for the Quiet Spike, the device had been through extensive ground testing, including wind-tunnel testing, to arrive at the point where it was installed on an F-15B aircraft and flown. The F-15B is capable of flying at speeds in excess of Mach 2.0, or two times the speed of sound.

Once the Quiet Spike had proven to be structurally sound, it could be incorporated with confidence onto advanced low-boom configuration aircraft to further control and mitigate adverse acoustic impacts of supersonic flight. The hope was for the Quiet Spike to become an important means of changing the traditional N-wave sonic boom into smooth and more rounded pressure waves, shaped roughly like a sine wave or a sideways "S." This change in the wave shape resulted in a softer sound that is quieter than the Concorde sonic boom by a factor of 10,000.

NASA Photo by: Jim Ross
Keywords: F-15, F-15B, 836, testbed, Gulfstream, Quiet Spike, sonic boom mitigator, composite, articulating, Flight #298, Craig Bomben pilot, Mike Thomson backseat

Last Modified: December 1, 2006
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement