On Maximum Q

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On Maximum Q

Post  Steve Alan on Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:10 am

A number of budding new pilots have been contacting me recently, asking about what Max Q is.

I'm happy to explain about it.

"Q" or "q" is simply a quantity called dynamic pressure, which is a combination of air density and speed. During the launch of any rocket, the speed increases since the rocket accelerates, but air density decreases the higher the rocket goes. There is a point where the combination of increasing speed and decreasing density is a maximum, and this is the point called "max q." Rockets, aircraft, missiles, and other vehicles are all designed to withstand only a certain maximum q before they will suffer structural damage, so the term is used throughout aerospace engineering and not just by NASA.

Best,

Steve Alan

Steve Alan
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Re: On Maximum Q

Post  John French on Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:52 am

Thank for that Steve!

Good to see you last week!!

Happy flying from John

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