A Caltech Library Service

Measurements of Turbulent Friction on a Smooth Flat Plate in Supersonic Flow

Coles, Donald (1954) Measurements of Turbulent Friction on a Smooth Flat Plate in Supersonic Flow. Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences, 21 (7). pp. 433-448. ISSN 1936-9956.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Direct measurements of supersonic local skin friction, using the floating-element technique, are presented for Mach Numbers from 2.0 to 4.5 and Reynolds Numbers from 3 X 10^5 to 9 X 10^6. Turbulent flow and transition are emphasized, although some measurements in the laminar regime are included. The observed effect of compressibility is to reduce the magnitude of turbulent skin friction by a factor of two at a Mach Number of 4.5 and a Reynolds number of about 10^7. The boundary-layer momentum-integral equation for constant pressure is verified within a few per cent by two experimental methods. Typical static pressure measurements are presented to show that transition can be detected by observing disturbances in pressure associated with changes in displacement thickness of the boundary layer. It is found that the turbulent boundary layer cannot be defined experimentally for values of u_1 θ/v_1 less than about 2,000, where θ is the momentum thickness. For larger values of u_1 θ/v_1, there is a unique relationship between local friction coefficient and momentum-thickness Reynolds Number at a fixed Mach Number. The Appendix compares the present measurements at M = 2.5 with experimental data from other sources.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© 1954 Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences. Received December 22, 1953. This paper presents the results of one phase of research carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under joint sponsorship of the Department of the Army, Ordnance Corps (under Contract No. DA-04-495-Ord 18), and the Department of the Air Force.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of the Army, Ordnance CorpsDA-04-495-Ord 18
Department of the Air ForceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130510-093213439
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38416
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 May 2013 22:33
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page