145. Sonic Fatigue and Weight Optimization


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L J Kirchner: 145. Sonic Fatigue and Weight Optimization. 1957.



Today’s high speed, jet-propelled aircraft stir up a long list of problems for the design engineer to cope with: high speed buffeting, intricate fuel requirements, complicated control system, high noise level, and fatigue – to name a few.
This paper deals with sonic fatigue, considering the effects of sonic disturbances on human beings as well as structure. It touches on jet noise suppression and control, and reviews what has been done in the past to preclude the effects of sonic fatigue.
Sonic fatigue is not a new phenomenon. We have all seen a water glass shattered by the sounds of a violin. This is a controlled type of fatigue, in that the fiddler can change his tune anytime he sees fit to do so. But imagine the results if every time he played, he broke his wife’s crystalware!
Fatigue, as applied to aircraft, is a very serious matter – in that it can and does cost human lives, not to mention millions of dollars. Tomes have been written about fatigue for the benefit of the structural design engineer who undertakes the challenge of reducing or eliminating its effects. But what about the weight engineer – and others who need only a semi-technical knowledge of this condition? Without becoming specialist, in everything, they still must be generally conversant with all phenomena associated with aircraft. It is to the aeronautical engineer who does not specialize in structural design that the following information is addressed.


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