supercritical wing

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supercritical wing

[¦sü·pər′krid·ə·kəl ′wiŋ]
(aerospace engineering)
A wing developed to permit subsonic aircraft to maintain an efficient cruise speed very close to the speed of sound; the middle portion of the wing is relatively flat with substantial downward curvature near the trailing edge; in addition, the forward region of the lower surface is more curved than that of the upper surface with a substantial cusp of the rearward portion of the lower surface.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Supercritical wing

A wing with special streamwise sections, or airfoils, which provide substantial delays in the onset of the adverse aerodynamic effects which usually occur at high subsonic flight speeds.

When the speed of an aircraft approaches the speed of sound, the local airflow about the airplane, particularly above the upper surface of the wing, may exceed the speed of sound. Such a condition is called supercritical flow. On previous aircraft, this supercritical flow resulted in the onset of a strong local shock wave above the upper surface of the wing (illustration a). This local wave caused an abrupt increase in the pressure on the surface of the wing, which may cause the surface boundary-layer flow to separate from the surface, with a resulting severe increase in the turbulence of the flow. The increased turbulence leads to a severe increase in drag and loss in lift, with a resulting decrease in flight efficiency. The severe turbulence also caused buffet or shaking of the aircraft and substantially changed its stability or flying qualities. See Aerodynamic force, Aerodynamic wave drag, Transonic flight

Supercritical airfoils are shaped to substantially reduce the strength of the shock wave and to delay the associated boundary-layer separation (illustration b). Since the airfoil shape allows efficient flight at supercritical flight speeds, a wing of such design is called a supercritical wing. See Airplane, Wing

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

supercritical wing

supercritical wing
A wing planform in which the upper surface is relatively flat and there is a more pronounced curvature on the lower surface. This permits a high cruising speed and carriage of increased payload.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
[14] explored the effect of the shape of vortex generators and arrangement and geometry size on airfoil flow separation through the method of numerical simulation and thus obtained the influence law of supercritical airfoil aerodynamic performance.
It was also the first military aircraft with a supercritical airfoil.