Theoretical lift and drag of thin triangular wings at supersonic speeds

Brown, Clinton E

A method is derived for calculating the lift and the drag due to lift of point-forward triangular wings and a restricted series of sweptback wings at supersonic speeds. The elementary or "supersonic sources" solution of the linearized equation of motion is used to find the potential function of a line of doublets. The flow about the triangular flat plate is then obtained by a surface distribution of these doublet lines. The lift-curve slope of triangular wings is found to be a function of the ratio of the tangent of the apex angle to the tangent of the Mach angle. As the apex angle approaches and becomes greater than the Mach angle, the lift coefficient of the triangular wing becomes equal to that of a two-dimensional supersonic airfoil at the same Mach number. The drag coefficient due to lift of triangular wings with leading edges well behind the Mach cone is shown to be close to that of elliptically loaded wings of the same aspect ratio in subsonic flight. The resultant force on wings with leading edges outside the Mach cone, however, is shown to act normal to the surfaces and thus an induced drag equal to the lift times the angle of attack is obtained.

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