bow wave

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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.
References in periodicals archive ?
If procurement plans now on the books are unchanged, we would have a bow wave that could swamp our program after the turn of the century.
Massive barges, some over 200 metres long, laden to the gunwales with cargo, sped along pushing enormous bow waves.
These capture the ship's bow waves, forcing them through the tunnels.
It can't be legislated and will bounce off of it like the bow waves at the prow of a great ship.
Scientists and seafarers have long wondered why dolphins sometimes travel in the bow waves of ships or in the wakes of small boats or larger marine mammals with seemingly little effort.
Massive barges, some over 200 metres long and laden to the gunwales with cargo, sped along pushing enormous bow waves.
The charity also charters the boats to seafaring enthusiasts and takes fare-paying passengers out on trips to see dolphins, which often ride the bow waves of the vessels.