To assess the aerodynamic merits of a particular configuration it is convenient if similarity parameters can be found that allow comparison with other vehicles at different Mach numbers and lift coefficients. A pair of such parameters occur naturally in the study of 'direct' and 'interference' lift. The use of these parameters assists in the optimisation of lift per unit drag at supersonic speeds. The wing designer can, for example, use these improvements to reduce wing size and structure mass. This paper derives these similarity parameters and illustrates their use.
For the original derivation and use of the parameters see P.L.Roe "Some exact calculations of the lift and drag produced by a wedge in supersonic flow, either directly or by interference" ARC R&M no. 3478, 1964 and J. Pike "On lifting surfaces supporting one or more shock waves" ARC R&M no. 3623, 1970.
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Last amended: Nov 2013