In-Pipe Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Projectile in Comparison with Free Flight for Transonic Mach Numbers Between 0.5 and 1.5

  • R. HruschkaEmail author
  • D. Klatt
Conference paper


The transient shock dynamics and drag of a transonic projectile flying through a pipe 3.55 times larger than its diameter are analyzed by means of time-of-flight and pipe wall pressure measurements as well as computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In addition, free-flight drag of the 4.5-mm-pellet-type projectile was also measured in a Mach number range between 0.5 and 1.5, providing a means for comparison against in-pipe data and CFD. For nearly incompressible flow, the presence of the pipe has little influence on the drag. There is a strong increase, however, between Mach 0.3 and 0.8, to a value of about two times the free-flight drag. This is exactly where the nose-to-base pressure ratio of the projectile becomes critical, and henceforth drag can be estimated by supersonic nozzle theory. For even higher Mach numbers, the drag decreases again and finally drops below the free-flight drag. This behavior is explained by five different flow regimes that the in-pipe projectile experiences, as opposed to only two for the free-flying one (subsonic and supersonic, respectively). 2-D axisymmetric CFD simulations agree well with measured values for drag and shock speeds.


  1. 1.
    J. Sahu, Drag Predictions for Projectiles at Transonic and Supersonic Speeds, Tech. Rep. BRL-MR-3523, (1986)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C.J. Nietubicz W.B. Sturek, Navier-Stokes Code Verification for Projectile Configurations at Supersonic and Transonic Velocities, AIAA-Paper 88-1995 (1995)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. Silton, Navier-stokes computations for a spinning projectile from subsonic to supersonic speeds. J. Spacecr. Rocket. 42(2), 223–231 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. DeSpirito, S. Silton, P. Weinacht, Navier-stokes predictions of dynamic stability derivatives: Evaluation of steady-state methods. J. Spacecr. Rocket. 46(6), 1142–1154 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French-German Research Institute of Saint LouisSaint LouisFrance

Personalised recommendations