Ansys Employee

That's a great question because it gives us a chance to discuss and recollect one of the greatest innovations in aviation, which is the Whitcomb area rule.

The area rule is an aircraft design method to decrease the peak value of drag generated when an aircraft moves from transonic to supersonic speed. The idea is to reduce the wave-generated drag having a smooth variation of the cross-sectional area along the aircraft (front-to-back). This involves, for example, a reduction of the fuselage area where the wings are located, in order to counterbalance the wing area.

This seemingly simple modification paved the way for practical supersonic air travel.