Work on the aerodynamic design of the nose cone for the Skybolt sounding rocket has been underway for some time.
The pictures shown in the associated gallery were created using Fluent Inc's Fluent CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) package. This package allows simulation of air or liquid around any shape. Fluent has been used to optimise the shape of the nose cone for Skybolt.
The optimum shape for the nose cone was found to be as shown in these images. The first two show the pressure distributions over nose cones that have been cut at a certain point. Shockwaves and the expected high pressure at the tip can be seen. Note that the scale on the pictures has been altered for clarity, resulting in fluid regions outside the scale.
Image 3 shows the density variation around a sharp nose cone. Another view of the pressure is shown in image 4. A wake, a region of lower pressure behind a moving body, is visible.
A generic, 5-metre, rocket body length was used to simplify the problem.