The Legacy of Camillo Possio to Unsteady Aerodynamics

Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 199)


First a brief overview is given of Camillo Possio’s short but outstanding and fruitful career. This is followed by an outline of the state of the art in flutter and unsteady aerodynamic research, and the challenges and problems like high-speed flight that arose in aircraft development at that time. Possio’s first publications on gas dynamic and supersonic problems are reviewed. The main focus is on the 1938 report on unsteady subsonic compressible 2D flow that became famous and was named after him, because he was the first person to developed an unsteady compressible aerodynamic theory, which was urgently needed in those years. The theory, which is based on Prandtl’s acceleration potential is briefly outlined. Some discussions and comments that took place in Germany and other countries at that time highlight the importance of this work for the scientific community. Early solutions of Possio’s integral equation developed by himself and later ones developed by other researchers are presented, as well as approaches that extended the theory to 3 dimensional flows before the war, like Kuessner’s theory, which was probably influenced by Possio. Finally Camillo Possio’s later scientific contributions to wind tunnel interference and to hydrodynamics are described. A summary of some developments of the 2nd half of the 20th century demonstrate that Camillo Possio created a milestone for modern aircraft research during his very short career.


Aeroelasticity Unsteady Aerodynamics Flutter Integral Equation Possio 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Voss
    • 1
  1. 1.DLR Institute of AeroelasticityGoettingen

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