Airfoil profiles for minimum pressure drag at supersonic velocities -- general analysis with application to linearized supersonic flow

Chapman, Dean R.

A theoretical investigation is made of the airfoil profile for minimum pressure drag at zero lift in supersonic flow. In the first part of the report a general method is developed for calculating the profile having the least pressure drag for a given auxiliary condition, such as a given structural requirement or a given thickness ratio. The various structural requirements considered include bending strength, bending stiffness, torsional strength, and torsional stiffness. No assumption is made regarding the trailing-edge thickness; the optimum value is determined in the calculations as a function of the base pressure. To illustrate the general method, the optimum airfoil, defined as the airfoil having minimum pressure drag for a given auxiliary condition, is calculated in a second part of the report using the equations of linearized supersonic flow.

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