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The two-dimensional flows, in section and plan, are just approximations or simplifications which apply under certain conditions. This situation can be easier to understand as a three-dimensional flow, and perhaps also from the reference frame of the air. When the wing approaches, the resulting pressure gradients make the air move out its way. Because the ...


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Air needs to make way for the approaching airplane. For that, it takes the route of least resistance, which is above and below the wing. This is shown in your first picture which is valid for a supersonic leading edge. Your top view shows a different cross section through a three-dimensional shock at a much lower speed. The vector M$_2$ is wrong and does not ...


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