A study of hypersonic small-disturbance theory

Milton D. Van Dyke

A systematic study is made of the approximate inviscid theory of thin bodies moving at such high supersonic speeds that nonlinearity is an essential feature of the equations of flow. The first-order small-disturbance equations are derived for three-dimensional motions involving shock waves, and estimates are obtained for the order of error involved in the approximation. The hypersonic similarity rule of Tsien and Hayes, and Hayes' unsteady analogy appear in the course of the development. It is shown that the hypersonic theory can be interpreted so that it applies also in the range of linearized supersonic flow theory. Several examples are solved according to the small-disturbance theory, and compared with the full solutions when available.

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