THE practical aerodynamic problems encountered in designing aircraft for flight in the transonic range are discussed here.
Raising the effective critical Mach number of an airplane is shown to be a more efficient method of increasing speed than either an increase in engine power or a decrease in parasite drag.
Aerodynamic problems of both low and high speed, which result from designing for high speed, are discussed.
It is concluded that the aerodynamic problems connected with the design of high-speed aircraft are fairly well defined but that further experimental and theoretical research is required to solve these problems and establish design details. In particular, further correlation between wind tunnel and flight tests is needed in order to arrive at practical engineering solutions to the problems encountered in designing transonic aircraft.
For this paper, Mr. Van Every was awarded the 1948 Wright Brothers Medal by the Society of Automotive Engineers.