Air reactions to objects moving at rates above the velocity of sound with application to the air propeller

Reed, S Albert
naca-tm-168
November 1922


There has been a tradition general among aeronautical engineers that a critical point exists for tip speeds at or near the velocity of sound, indicating a physical limit in the use of propellers at higher tip speeds; the idea being that something would occur analogous to what is known in marine propellers as cavitation. In the examination of the physics pertaining to both propellers and projectiles moving at or above 1100 feet per second, the conclusion was reached by the author that there is no reason for the existence of such a critical point and that, if it had been noted by observers it was not inherent in the phenomena revealed, but rather due to a particular shape or proportion of the projectile and that, with properly proportioned sections, it would not exist.

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