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Hypersonic dynamic stability of wave riders

Mahmood Khalid (Department of Aeronautical Engineering, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Khalid A. Juhany (Department of Aeronautical Engineering, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to obtain close form expressions for the dynamic stability of conical wave riders with flat surfaces which could be equipped with lifting surfaces on its plain flat surface. Numerical simulation would require very large meshes to resolve flows at subscale level and the experimental evaluations would be equally difficult, requiring expensive measurement facilities with challenging procedures to secure such vehicles in confined test sections to obtain satisfactory wind on and wind off oscillations.


The design method uses appropriate pressure fields using small disturbance theory, which, in turn, is perturbed using the unsteady shock expansion theory to recover suitable expressions for the dynamic stability behaviour.


It was observed that the dynamic stability of the standard half-cone-type wave riders with flat upper surfaces deteriorates with the axis position measured from the pointed apex reaching a minimum at around x/co = 0.666. The half-cone wave rider with flat upper surfaces is dynamically less stable than a pure cone.

Research limitations/implications

The method is typically less accurate when the similarity parameter Mθ ≤ 1 = 1 or if the angle of attack is not small.

Practical implications

With renewed interest in hypersonic, future hypersonically would be designed as fast lifting bodies whose shapes would be close to the configurations of hypersonic wave riders, especially if they are designed to operate at upper atmosphere altitudes.


The analytic approach outlined in this paper for the evaluation of dynamic and static stability derivatives is original, drawing from the strengths of the small disturbance theory and shock expansion techniques. The method is particularly important, as there are no reported theoretical, numerical or experimental results in the literature.



Khalid, M. and Juhany, K.A. (2017), "Hypersonic dynamic stability of wave riders", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 3, pp. 434-443.



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