Characteristics of low-aspect-ratio wings at supercritical Mach numbers

Stack, John Lindsey, W F

The separation of the flow over wings precipitated by the compression shock that forms as speeds are increased into the supercritical Mach number range has imposed serious difficulties in the improvement of aircraft performance. Three difficulties rise principally as a consequence of the rapid drag rise and the loss of lift that causes serious stability changes when the wing shock-stalls. Favorable relieving effects due to the three-dimensional flow around the tips were obtained and these effects were of such magnitude that it is indicated that low-aspect-ratio wings offer a possible solution of the problems encountered.

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