Comparison between theory and experiment for wings at supersonic speeds

Vincenti, Walter G.

This paper presents a critical comparison made between experimental and theoretical results for the aerodynamic characteristics of wings at supersonic flight speeds. As a preliminary, a brief, nonmathematical review is given of the basic assumptions and general findings of supersonic wing theory in two and three dimensions. Published data from two-dimensional pressure-distribution tests are then used to illustrate the effects of fluid viscosity and to assess the accuracy of linear theory as compared with the more exact theories which are available in the two-dimensional case. Finally, an account is presented of an NACA study of the over-all force characteristics of three-dimensional wings at supersonic speed. In this study, the lift, pitching moment, and drag characteristics of several families of wings of varying plan form and section were measured in the wind tunnel and compared with values predicted by the three-dimensional linear theory. The regions of agreement and disagreement between experiment and theory are noted and discussed.

An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file of the entire report: