In the present contribution we evaluate the heat flux prediction capabilities of second-order accurate Residual Distribution (RD) methods in the context of atmospheric (re-)entry problems around blunt bodies. Our departing point is the computation of subsonic air flows (with air modeled either as an inert ideal gas or as chemically reacting and possibly out of thermal equilibrium gas mixture) around probe-like geometries, as those typically employed into high enthalpy wind tunnels. We confirm the agreement between the solutions obtained with the RD method and the solutions computed with other Finite Volume (FV) based codes.
However, a straightforward application of the same numerical technique to hypersonic cases involving strong shocks exhibits severe deficiencies even on a geometry as simple as a 2D cylinder. In an attempt to mitigate this problem, we derive new variants of RD schemes. A comparison of these alternative strategies against established ones allows us to derive a diagnose for the shortcomings observed in the traditional RD schemes.