The compressibility burble and the effect of compressibility on pressures and forces acting on a airfoil

Stack, John Lindsey, W F Littell, Robert E

Simultaneous air-flow photographs and pressure-distribution measurements were made of the NACA 4412 airfoil at high speeds to determine the physical nature of the compressibility burble. The tests were conducted in the NACA 24-inch high-speed wind tunnel. The flow photographs were obtained by the Schlieren method and the pressures were simultaneously measured for 54 stations in the 5-inch-chord airfoil by means of a multiple-tube manometer. Following the general program, a few measurements of total-pressure loss in the wake of the airfoil at high speeds were made to illustrate the magnitude of the losses involved and the extent of the disturbed region; and, finally, in order to relate this work to earlier force-test data, a force test of a 5-inch-chord NACA 4412 airfoil was made. The results show the general nature of the phenomenon known as the compressibility burble. The source of the increased drag is shown to be a compression shock that occurs on the airfoil as its speed approaches the speed of sound. Finally, it is indicated that considerable experimentation is needed in order to understand the phenomenon completely.

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