Supersonic near-wake afterbody boattailing effects on axisymmetric bodies

J. L. Herrin, J. C. Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experimental investigation of the near-wake flowfield downstream of a conical boattailed afterbody in supersonic flow is presented. The afterbody investigated is typical of those for conventional boattailed missiles and projectiles in unpowered flight. Flow visualization, mean static pressure measurements, and three-component laser Doppler velocimeter data have been obtained throughout the near wake of the body. The effects of afterbody boattailing on the physics of the near-wake flow are determined by comparing the present data with similar data obtained on a cylindrical afterbody. Results indicate that a net afterbody drag reduction of 21% is achieved with the current boattailed afterbody for a freestream Mach number of 2.46. The shear-layer growth rate, and therefore mass entrainment from the recirculation region behind the base, is shown to be significantly reduced by afterbody boattailing due to the reduction in turbulence levels throughout the near wake as compared to the cylindrical afterbody.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1028
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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