a1 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
Direct numerical simulations have been performed by Mayer, Von Terzi & Fasel (J. Fluid Mech., this issue, vol. 674, 2011, pp. 5–42) to demonstrate that oblique-mode breakdown leads to fully turbulent flow for a Mach 3 flat-plate boundary layer. Since very low level of initial disturbances is required for this transition scenario, oblique-mode breakdown is the most potent mechanism for transition in two-dimensional supersonic boundary layers in low-disturbance environments relevant to flight.
(Online publication April 28 2011)