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Investigation of aerodynamic coefficients at Mach 6 over conical, hemispherical and flat-face spiked body

  • R. Kalimuthu (a1), R. C. Mehta (a2) and E. Rathakrishnan (a3)


A forward spike attached to a blunt body significantly alters its flow field characteristics and influences aerodynamic characteristics at hypersonic flow due to formation of separated flow and re-circulation region around the spiked body. An experimental investigation was performed to measure aerodynamic forces for spikes blunt bodies with a conical, hemispherical and flat-face spike at Mach 6 and at an angle-of-attack range from 0° to 8° and length-to-diameter L/D ratio of spike varies from 0.5 to 2.0, where L is the length of the spike and D is diameter of blunt body. The shape of the leading edge of the spiked blunt body reveals different types of flow field features in the formation of a shock wave, shear layer, flow separation, re-circulation region and re-attachment shock. They are analysed with the help of schlieren pictures. The shock distance ahead of the hemisphere and the flat-face spike is compared with the analytical solution and is showing satisfactory agreement with the schlieren pictures. The influence of geometrical parameters of the spike, the shape of the spike tip and angle-of-attack on the aerodynamic coefficients are investigated by measuring aerodynamic forces in a hypersonic wind tunnel. It is found that a maximum reduction of drag of about 77% was found for hemisphere spike of L/D = 2.0 at zero angle-of-attack. Consideration for compensation of increased pitching moment is required to stabilise the aerodynamic forces.


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Investigation of aerodynamic coefficients at Mach 6 over conical, hemispherical and flat-face spiked body

  • R. Kalimuthu (a1), R. C. Mehta (a2) and E. Rathakrishnan (a3)


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