On a new method for calculating the potential flow past a body of revolution

Kaplan, Carl

A new method is presented for obtaining the velocity potential of the flow about a body of revolution moving uniformly in the direction of its axis of symmetry in a fluid otherwise at rest. This method is based essentially on the fact that the form of the differential equation for the velocity potential is invariant with regard to conformal transformation of the meridian plane. By means of the conformal transformation of the meridian profile into a circle a system of orthogonal curvilinear coordinates is obtained, the main feature of which is that one of the coordinate lines is the meridian profile itself. The use of this type of coordinate system yields a simple expression of the boundary condition at the surface of the solid and leads to a rational process of iteration for the solution of the differential equation for the velocity potential. It is shown that the velocity potential for an arbitrary body of revolution may be expressed in terms of universal functions which, although not normal, are obtainable by means of simple quadratures. The general results are applied to a body of revolution obtained by revolving a symmetrical Joukowski profile about its axis of symmetry. A numerical example further serves to illustrate the theory.

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