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transonic flow[tran′sän·ik ′flō]
a gas flow in which the gas particles are moving at velocities approximating the speed of sound at a given place in the medium. A transonic flow may be subsonic or supersonic. Most often it is mixed, that is, it occurs at both subsonic and supersonic velocities. Transonic flow is marked by abrupt changes in density and by increases in the resistance coefficient associated with the changes.
The study of transonic flow deals with a number of important practical problems. For example, it is concerned with the effect of transonic flows on rocket and aircraft flights, the operation of compressors and turbines in aircraft and rocket engines, and wind-tunnel operation.