I'm working on the conceptual design of the path of a suborbital spaceplane and am trying to do basic calculations. I read that wave drag near the sonic barrier can be huge and can impede the flight.

I'm trying to use a Skylon type concept which breathes air till 10-15 km and then rockets from there on. How would one account for wave drag? How does it increase with launch and how would affect re-entry of the vehicle and this would be basically for the earlier air breathing section of the flight. Altitudes 15 km max.

For the uninitiated, there's a nice definition of wave drag in Quora that begins

Wave drag is a kind of aerodynamic drag. This drag comes into picture only when shock wave forms over or in front of the (spaceplane).

See also Skybrary and Wikipedia and Aviation SE.


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