Arrangement of bodies of revolution in supersonic flow to reduce wave drag

Friedman, Morris D
December 17, 1951

The wave drag of a combination of slender bodies of revolution at zero angle of attack is studied with a view to determining the arrangements for which the total drag is a minimum.Linearized theory is used to calculate the pressure distribution in the field surrounding the bodies. The interference drag coefficient is computed for different arrangements. The special cases of two bodies and of a three-body combination with bilateral symmetry are considered. The bodies treated are of the form determined by Sears and Haack as having minimum wave drag for prescribed volume and length. They also have equal fineness ratios. Numerical calculations of the drag coefficient of interference are carried out and curves are drawn which show the relative positions at which minimum drag occurs. A three-body configuration is found for which the total wave drag is about 35 percent less than the sum of the individual wave drags of the three bodies.

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