Fundamental investigations of compressibility phenomena for airfoils have shown that serious adverse changes of aerodynamic characteristics occur as the local speed over the surface exceeds the local speed of sound. These adverse changes have been delayed to higher free-stream speeds by development of suitable airfoil shapes. The method of deriving such airfoil shapes is described, and aerodynamic data for a wide range of Mach numbers obtained from tests of these airfoils in the Langley 24-inch high-speed tunnel are presented. These airfoils, designated the NACA 16-series, have increased critical Mach number. The same methods by which these airfoils have been developed are applicable to other airplane components.
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