Choosing the aerodynamic configuration of a subsonic cruise missile

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The paper presents a comparison of two aerodynamic configurations of subsonic cruise missiles, characterized by the use of swept-back and forward-swept wings. The results of wind tunnel tests with the use of an automated measurement system characterizing the dependence of the lift and drag coefficients in a sufficiently wide range of angles of attack are presented. This allows us to compare the aerodynamic quality of the cruise missile models under investigation. The analysis of the results of experiments with the models and calculations in conditions of steady-state low-altitude horizontal flight revealed that the configurations of cruise missiles with a moderately swept wing, selected for comparison, have similar aerodynamic characteristics. Both configurations ensure the mode of flight at a given altitude and velocity in the range of the best angles of attack (maximum aerodynamic quality). Missiles with swept-back wings have better aerodynamic performance in terms of maximum aerodynamic quality, while the lift increment due to reduced trim losses for the forward-swept wing configuration only partially compensates the difference of the aerodynamic characteristics of the alternatives under consideration. Therefore, it is concluded that the choice of aerodynamic configuration of a subsonic cruise missile with a swept-back wing is preferable.

About the authors

M. A. Kovalev

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Science (Engineering), Associate Professor

Russian Federation

A. N. Nikitin

Samara National Research University


Candidate of Science (Engineering)
Associate Professor of the Military Education Center

Russian Federation


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