Estimate for the pressure on rapidly accelerating bodies in high-speed flight

by Julian D. Cole

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The pressure on a slender accelerating airfoil or body of revolution traveling at high speed is estimated by using snowplow theory in a plain transverse to the direction of motion. With this theory, a simple explicit expression is obtained or the pressure distribution on the body. The theory is valid for rapid accelerations and provides a quantitative estimate of the effect of acceleration on the air forces. The significant parameter measuring the effect is shown to be a Froude number, FR = (body length) (acceleration)/(speed). The results of the analysis show that only in extreme cases does acceleration or deceleration exert an important effect on air forces. The pressure on a slender accelerating airfoil or body of revolution traveling at high speed is estimated by using snowplow theory in a plain transverse to the direction of motion. With this theory, a simple explicit expression is obtained for the pressure distribution on the body. The theory is valid for rapid accelerations and provides a quantitative estimate of the effect of acceleration on the air forces. The significant parameter measuring the effect is shown to be a Froude number, FR = (body length) (acceleration)/ (speed). The results of the analysis show that only in extreme cases does acceleration or deceleration exert an important effect on air forces. 18 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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