The methods of characteristics has been linearized by assuming that the flow field can be represented as a basic flow field determined by nonlinearized methods and a linearized superposed flow field that accounts for small changes of boundary conditions. The method has been applied to two-dimensional rotational flow where the basic flow is potential flow and to axially symmetric problems where conical flows have been used as the basic flows. In both cases the method allows the determination of the flow field to be simplified and the numerical work to be reduced to a few calculations. The calculations of axially symmetric flow can be simplified if tabulated values of some coefficients of the conical flow are obtained. The method has also been applied to slender bodies without symmetry and to some three-dimensional wing problems where two-dimensional flow can be used as the basic flow. Both problems were unsolved before in the approximation of nonlinear flow.
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