Re: Convair CV990 "Coronado"

Date:         07 Aug 99 01:22:40 
From:         James Matthew Weber <>
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

At 11:30 PM 7/22/99 +0000, you wrote:
>In <airliners.1999.734@ohare.Chicago.COM> "Anthony Rassias" <> writes:
>>Recently I read that, until the advent of the Concorde, the Convair CV990
>>was the fastest civil aeroplane. I am now curious and looking for any
>>information on the type - performance and specifications, production
>>numbers, dates etc. Were the strange fairings on the upper surface of
>>the wings used to break up shock waves created by flying at high
>>subsonic speeds - or did they serve some other purpose?
>Those fairings were appropriately called "shock bodies" and were
>also used to house fuel tanks.

They were called speed bullets, and I seriously doubt they carried fuel.
They were added because in testing the aircraft failed to achieve the
speeds that were promised by Convair to purchasers. The reason was
transonic drag made worse by the sudden change in effective cross

They are in fact  a concession to the Whitcomb Area rule developed in
the 1950's. In simple terms, as the aircraft speed approaches Mach 1,
sudden changes in aircraft cross section greatly increase the drag. This
leads to the familiar coke bottle, or wasp waist on many fighers of the
1950's. The fuselage diameter is large just before and just after the
wing to reduce the change in effective cross section.

The Speed bullets on the back of the wings provide a transitional cross
section between the wing trailing edge, and the fuselage.

James Matthew Weber   (623) 587 7514 .  Fax  (480) 638 1316