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Supersonic flight brings with it substantial technical challenges, as the aerodynamics of supersonic flight are dramatically different from those of subsonic flight (i.e., flight at speeds slower than that of sound). In particular, aerodynamic drag rises sharply as the aircraft passes the transonic regime, requiring much greater engine power and more streamlined airframes.
To keep drag low, wing span must be limited, which also reduces the aerodynamic efficiency when flying slowly. Since a supersonic aircraft must take off and land at a relatively slow speed, its aerodynamic design must be a compromise between the requirements for both ends of the speed range.
One approach to resolving this compromise is the use of a variable-geometry wing, commonly known as the "swing-wing," which spreads wide for low-speed flight and then sweeps sharply, usually backwards, for supersonic flight. However, swinging affects the longitudinal trim of the aircraft and the swinging mechanism adds weight and cost, so it is not often used.