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Theorems Concerning the Reduction of Drag for Supersonic Aircraft


Rodriguez, Alexander Martin (1956) Theorems Concerning the Reduction of Drag for Supersonic Aircraft. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/R1JD-WT10.


In this report the problem of drag reduction or minimization for aircraft in supersonic flight is investigated within the framework of linearized theory of inviscid flow for fixed flight Mach number. General theorems applicable to complete aircraft configurations are developed. These theorems state defining properties of distributions of thickness and normal force restricted to a particular region of the aircraft configurations that minimize the drag of the complete aircraft under the condition that the distribution of thickness and normal force on the remainder of the aircraft is specified in advance. These optimum distributions are further required to satisfy some of the various types of constraints that are commonly specified for aircraft. The problem of finding the optimum distribution of thickness, lift and sideforce on a slender body of revolution is also studied under the assumption that the body carries no total lift or sideforce and can be represented by placing the distributions along the body axis. The case for which the Mach envelope of the body does not include all of the remaining portion of the aircraft configuration, upon with the thickness and normal force are specified, is solved. This solution covers the previously known case for which the Mach envelope of the body includes the entire aircraft.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics and Mathematics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lagerstrom, Paco A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1956
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08302006-133358
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3282
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:08 Sep 2006
Last Modified:13 Jul 2023 23:55

Thesis Files

PDF (Rodriguez_am_1956.pdf) - Final Version
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