Whitcomb, Richard T. Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Field, Virginia.
- Shock waves
- Effects on flight characteristics
- Corrective means
- Area rule
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
In aerodynamics, flight of a vehicle at speeds near the speed of sound. When the velocity of an airplane approaches the speed of sound, roughly 660 mi/h (1060 km/h) at 35,000 ft (11 km) altitude, the flight characteristics become radically different from those at subsonic speeds. The drag increases greatly, the lift at a given attitude decreases, the moments acting on the airplane change abruptly, and the vehicle may shake or buffet. Such phenomena usually persist for flight velocities somewhat above the speed of sound. These flight characteristics, as well as the speeds at which they occur, are usually referred to as transonic. For configurations designed for subsonic flight these changes may occur at velocities of 70–110% of the speed of sound (Mach numbers of 0.7–1.1); for airplanes intended for transonic or supersonic flight they may be present only at Mach numbers of 0.95–1.05. See also: Flight characteristics; Mach number
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information