Masters Theses


"Supersonic airfoil geometries have been used since the 1940’s for high speed flight. Most aerodynamic studies of this class of airfoil focus primarily on the supersonic regime. Very few reports in the public domain address the flow characteristics of these airfoils at low subsonic speeds. The sharp leading edge and mid-chord maximum thickness location of supersonic airfoils combine to create complex flow features at low speeds. Separation bubbles form at very low angles of attack and grow tremendously as incidence is increased further. These separated regions can have a large influence on the performance characteristics of the airfoil and are very sensitive to the ambient flow conditions. Recently, interest in supersonic business jets has promoted many questions regarding how to accurately model these complex flow physics. Four airfoil geometries have been selected for study, three of which are supersonic geometries. The flow fields surrounding each of these airfoils are predicted using computational methods at a free stream Mach number of 0.17 and angles of attack between zero incidence and the onset of stall. Various combinations of computational parameters, such as grid density and how the turbulence model is implemented, have been utilized to examine their impact on the calculation of the laminar separation bubble. Comparisons of the flow developments over the selected supersonic airfoils show that while the formation and internal characteristics of the computed bubbles are similar, the overall length of the bubble is influenced by downstream pressure gradients created by the airfoils shape. By providing insight into the predicted behavior of the separation bubble, more informed decisions can be made in design situations involving laminar separation bubbles"--Abstract, page iii.


Finaish, Fathi

Committee Member(s)

Isaac, Kakkattukuzhy M.
Forrester, G.
Riggins, David W.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2006


xii, 103 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-102).


© 2006 Keith Edward Norton, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Aerodynamics, Supersonic
Numerical grid generation (Numerical analysis)
Turbulence -- Mathematical models

Thesis Number

T 9109

Print OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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