A factor affecting transonic leading-edge flow separation

George P. Wood, Paul B. Gooderum
Oct 1956

A change in flow pattern that was observed as the free-stream Mach number was increased in the vicinity of 0.8 was described in NACA Technical Note 1211 by Lindsey, Daley, and Humphreys. The flow on the upper surface behind the leading edge of an airfoil at an angle of attack changed abruptly from detached flow with an extensive region of separation to attached supersonic flow terminated by a shock wave. In the present paper, the consequences of shock-wave - boundary layer interaction are proposed as a factor that may be important in determining the conditions under which the change in flow pattern occurs. Some experimental evidence in support of the importance of this factor is presented.

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