bow wave

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Related to Stern wave: Bow wave

bow wave

[′bau̇ ‚wāv]
(fluid mechanics)
A shock wave occurring in front of a body, such as an airfoil, or apparently attached to the forward tip of the body.

bow shock wave

bow shock waveclick for a larger image
A shock wave that forms when the aircraft is flying at a speed faster than the speed of sound. A bow wave is a shock wave in front of a body, such as an airfoil, or is apparently attached to the forward tip of the body.

compression wave

compression waveclick for a larger image
A shock wave that forms on the surface of an airfoil moving through the air at supersonic speeds. The reverse phenomenon is an expansion wave. Also called bow wave. See also bow shock wave and expansion wave.