A general method is described for calculating, with the aid of an electronic computer, the incompressible potential flow about arbitrary, nonlifting, three-dimensional bodies. The method utilizes a source density distribution on the surface of the body and solves for the distribution necessary to make the normal component of fluid velocity zero on the boundary. Plane quadrilateral surface elements are used to approximate the body surface, and the integral equation for the source density is replaced by a set of linear algebraic equations for the values of the source density on the quadrilateral elements. When this set of equations has been solved, the flow velocity both on and off the body surface is calculated. After the basic ideas and equations have been derived end discussed, the accuracy of the method is exhibited by means of comparisons with analytic solutions, and its usefulness is shown by comparing calculated pressure distributions with experimental data. Some of the design problems to which the method has been applied are also presented, to indicate the variety of flow situations that can be calculated by this approach.

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