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Supercruise

From Academic Kids

A supercruising aircraft is able to cruise at supersonic speeds without the use of afterburners.

Aircraft with supercruise include:

Although supercruise is currently fashionable, it is not new; the first aircraft to exceed Mach 1 in level flight without afterburners was the P.1 prototype of the English Electric Lightning on August 4, 1954.

In general, when aircraft without supercruise travel at supersonic speeds, they use up fuel very quickly, and must be careful not to run out. This means that if a supercruise-capable fighter is attempting to intercept a non-supercruise-capable aircraft (or vice versa), the supercruise-capable one will be at an advantage.

In practice, this is also affected by the fuel fraction, the proportion of the plane's overall mass which is devoted to fuel.


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