Cavitation inception and development on two axisymmetric bodies was studied with the aid of a Schlieren flow visualization method developed for that purpose. Both bodies were found to exhibit a laminar boundary layer separation; cavitation inception was observed to occur within this region of separated flow. The incipient cavitation index was found to be closely correlated with the magnitude of the pressure coefficient at the location of flow separation on one of the bodies. There is also experimental evidence that events at the site of turbulent reattachment of the separated flow may also greatly influence cavitation inception.

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