A numerical investigation of transonic and low-supersonic flows of dense gases of the Bethe–Zel'dovich–Thompson (BZT) type is presented. BZT gases exhibit, in a range of thermodynamic conditions close to the liquid/vapour coexistence curve, negative values of the fundamental derivative of gasdynamics. This can lead, in the transonic and supersonic regime, to non-classical gasdynamic behaviours, such as rarefaction shock waves, mixed shock/fan waves and shock splitting. In the present work, inviscid and viscous flows of a BZT fluid past an airfoil are investigated using accurate thermo-physical models for gases close to saturation conditions and a third-order centred numerical method. The influence of the upstream kinematic and thermodynamic conditions on the flow patterns and the airfoil aerodynamic performance is analysed, and possible advantages deriving from the use of a non-conventional working fluid are pointed out.