A subset of [tag:fluid-dynamics] concerning primarily forces such as lift and drag generated on bodies as they move through gasses or as gasses move through the body (typically air).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
0answers
42 views

Could the phenomenon of vortex bursting be exploited to reduce wake turbulence?

One of the classic stories in the annals of aerospace engineering is the development (and subsequent redesign) of the F-18 and its Leading Edge Extensions (LEX) due to fatigue problems, problems that ...
9
votes
2answers
684 views

Why do co-rotating vortices coalesce, but not counter-rotating ones?

In studying the aerodynamics of modern aircraft equipped with high-lift devices, I have discovered that quite a number of distinct trailing vortices are present in the immediate wake of an airplane in ...
7
votes
2answers
170 views

How should I throttle my rocket to reach highest altitude? [closed]

"Real world" problem. Suppose we want to launch a rocket equipped with an engine which can be throttled as we prefer. Suppose also that the amount of fuel burnt per time is directly proportional ...
27
votes
13answers
2k views

What does a wing do that an engine can't?

This isn't a question of how a wing works -- vortex flow, Bernoulli's principle, all of that jazz. Instead, it's a question of why we need a wing at all. A wing produces lift, but why is that ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

How laminar or turbulent is air?

Consider an outdoors scenario, with good weather and no sensible air currents at the floor level. How turbulent or laminar is the air surrounding this environment?
1
vote
1answer
71 views

How much wind does it take to tip a sign over? [closed]

Or said another way - how much counterweight does the base of a sign need to keep it from tipping over given a specific max wind? Assume the sign does not let wind through Assume the base of the ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Maximum helicopter height [duplicate]

Helicopters or dual/quadcopters stop rising after reaching some height from the ground. What causes that? And what one should do if he want to prevent this, if he want the helicopter to keep rising ...
4
votes
2answers
69 views

Are Mach Diamonds radially symmetrical?

Videos like this show a form that suggests a radial symmetry in the gas jet. The same is reinforced by schematic illustrations. But other images, like this, look like there is a twisting structure ...
1
vote
4answers
124 views

Experiment - Measuring final velocity of a parachute

I'm working on a project that involves a scale parachute. It is vital for the project to get a good measurement of the speed it has when it lands. We still haven't built the parachute, but we need a ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Stagnant Air Deep Inside Vintage Mines

This is really a question more about mining ventilation than true "physics." I occasionally explore a southwest desert mine, but am aware of the hazards - typically passing over half a dozen vintage ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Why air above airplane's wing moves faster? [duplicate]

One explanation I read: Because of the wing's geometry, the "upper" side of the wing is longer, so the air has to travel faster: My wondering: Who said (and what was his/her explanation) that ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Uses of the Reynolds number

I have seen a lot of places talking about the Reynolds number and how it is calculated, but I have never seen an equation that actually made use of this number to calculate lift, drag, or other ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

What's the advantage of NASA's flying saucer over traditional aerodynamic models?

NASA has recently tested a saucer-shaped spaceship. What's the advantage of this new design over traditional aerodynamic designs? The test launch was performed from within atmosphere which would ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Does the lift created by a wing change when the slats are deployed?

This is a conceptual question as much as an empirical one, but the question is: Does the lift of a wing change when the slats (or any other leading edge device) are deployed? I am stipulating that the ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Cause for Power Transmission Tower “Breathing”

OK, this question is not your usual one: Last night while hiking solo from the mountains back to my car at the mountain/desert interface (Lone Pine, CA), I had a rather bizarre -- and downright spooky ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Effect of Earth's magnetic field on aeroplanes?

As an aeroplane accelerates through the Earth's B-field, it experiences a changing flux $d\phi \over dt$ and a potential difference is induced along its wings. Given the wings are made of metal and ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the exact cause of flow separation in a viscous fluid?

I recently got into a lengthy debate about the exact nature of boundary layer separation. In common parlance, we have a tendency to talk about certain geometries as being too "sharp" for a viscous ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Why doesn't this model plane fly? [closed]

I have been designing a model plane for Design Technology for the past month or so, and today I laser cut my final design and assembled, it then tested it. Upon testing the plane does not get any ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Why aren't airplanes like golf balls?

Ok this is a silly question but here it goes Although it is good to have a laminar flow of the air around the object for low drag but the laminar flow is prone the phenomena called separation (sounds ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does it make sense to open one window all the way when the other window is much smaller?

I can't wrap my head around this idea because I don't know much about air flows. Say we have this imaginary apartment with two windows, one of which is two times smaller than the other: Will the ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Why Don't Birds Stall?

I often hear about planes stalling when they lose lift due to low airspeed/too high angle of attack. Why don't birds stall? Does it have to do with the structure of their wings and their flexibility, ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Why isn't jumping from a high altitude fatal?

After seeing this answer claiming that displacing matter "In a very short time", "no matter whether the matter is solid, liquid, or gas" (even though he concludes that falling from a high altitude is ...
28
votes
6answers
5k views

Why is jumping into water from high altitude fatal?

If I jump from an airplane straight positioned upright into the ocean, why is it the same as jumping straight on the ground? Water is a liquid as opposed to the ground, so I would expect that by ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

Does the wing-propeller plane or jet-plane struggle up at the high altitudes because of low pressure?

We all know that wing-propeller planes rely on air to create a thrust. They suck the air in and push them back hard that it's opposite reaction pushes the plane (Newton's law). Does that mean ...
1
vote
2answers
380 views

Toy helicopters at very high altitude

Because air is thin up there, toy helicopters usually have a maximum operational altitude. If the toy brought up by a real aircraft, higher than its intended maximum altitude, would it be able to ...
6
votes
2answers
61 views

Stratospheric ship

Let's assume that we build a giant steel hull in a shape of cube with open top (2km long edge) and lift it to the top of stratosphere and then pump air out of it. Would it float on the outer layer of ...
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

Aerodynamics and thermodynamic [closed]

Why can we refer an object as being aerodynamic but we can't refer an object as being thermodynamic, and if an object is thermodynamic what does it even means?
1
vote
3answers
152 views

How do birds generate thrust?

I have been watching this video carefully and I want to know how the wings of birds generate thrust. This is because the wings are more or less flapping up and down --- generating the lift. But I do ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

What would be the minimal size of an aerial vehicle capable of sustained suspersonic flight? [closed]

I wonder, what's the smallest possible size for a UAV capable of sustained supersonic flight at the current technology level? Let's say 10 minutes of flight at 1.1 M.
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Modal analysis with aerodynamic damping

I'm using modal decomposition to predict the steady state response of a beam structure to harmonic loading. The structure itself is very lightly damped, but we know from experiments that the ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Mathematically impossible for a vortex line to have loose ends?

Could someone show the math behind it? Source : "A vortex is a bunch of air circulating around itself. The axis around which the air is rotating is called a vortex line. It is mathematically ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Why does air circulate on an airfoil — The Kutta Condition

Why does the air circulate on a flowing airfoil, thus giving rise to increased velocity (circulation + relative airspeed) above the wing and hence decreased pressure.
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Turbofan: Efficiency wrt. the bypass ratio: “a lot of slow air > a little faster air”?

Reading / viewing up on how jet engines work, this video explains at the 9:02 mark that, for turbofan engines, ".. it is more aerodynamically efficient to have a lot of air moving relatively slowly ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Airfoil theory — Why does air travel faster above? [duplicate]

I do not understand, why the air above the airfoil travels faster than the air below it? The air above has to travel faster than the air below so that both streams meet simultaneously at the ...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Why do some (older) wind generators have more than three blades?

Based on my personal observations, newer windmills seem to have three blades while older ones tend to have four or even more. This question has excellent discussion on my three is an optimal number. ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Compute an aerodynamic shape [closed]

I'm interested in building a Fairing for a recumbent bicycle. A fairing is just a rigid curved surface (usually plastic or fiberglass) that surrounds the bike in order to reduce wind drag. Apparently ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

What factors determine how long airplane condensation stays in the air?

My understanding is that the turbulence formed by the flight of an airplane has low-pressure zones with low temperatures that cause water molecules to condense to form a fog. My question is about the ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Why does a flat clover-like shape fall slower when it is rotating?

The plastic flat clover-like shape pictured below falls noticeably slower when it is rotating fast. I wonder why. Its three edges are flat, so I don't think that the rotation makes it act like a ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

Relation between pressure, velocity and area

In a nozzle, the exit velocity increases as per continuity equation $Av=const$ as given by Bernoulli equation (incompressible fluid). Pressure is inversely proportional to velocity, so we have lower ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Quadrotor dynamical equations on center of propeller

I work on a quadrotor project. It is commonly wide dynamical model according to the center of quadrotor. However, I need quadrotor dynamic equations on center of one of the propellers. It seems very ...
1
vote
4answers
265 views

Is it possible to sky dive without a parachute and land safely?

Let's assume an averaged sized man (1.8 meters height 80 kg) who's sky-diving from a 5000 m height. Let's also assume he's using tight clothes and no parachute. The idea is: Is it possible for him ...
1
vote
1answer
499 views

Nose cone design for minimal drag

What formula defines a curve for a nose cone with the minimal possible drag? The nose cone is attached to a cylinder (assume it goes on forever). The volume of the nose cone is not relevant. The ...
1
vote
3answers
118 views

Spontaneous motion in a wind tunnel

Suppose that a hollow truncated cone is placed in a wind tunnel with a steady wind speed $V$. The cone is placed in such a way that it's base of area $A_1$ faces the wind (rather than the other side ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Velocity in the lift equation

What exactly is the nature of the velocity in the lift equation? I have read that it is the velocity of the aircraft, and I think I have read that it is the relative velocity of the air to the ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

Exactly how much lift is needed to overcome the weight of an average person?

I am designing a "glider" of sorts, and I have some basic questions about the physics involved to get me started. How much lift is required to overcome the weight of an average person, say 150 pounds? ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Number of blades in a helicopter rotor

I was wondering how it is possible to determine what is the optimal number of blades in a helicopter rotor. I think that the length of the blade is involved as a longer blades would have to spin ...
17
votes
1answer
423 views

Causes of hexagonal shape of Saturn's jet stream

NASA has just shown a more detailed picture of the hexagonal vortex/storm on Saturn: http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-releases-images-saturns-hexagon-mega-storm-may-have-been-swirling-centuries-1496218 ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

The criteria for potential flow theory

I am learning aerodynamics. In this course a potential flow is denoted that a flow in which the rotation is zero everywhere. But the book told me that we can add vortex into a flow field, and we can ...
3
votes
2answers
508 views

What exactly is the 'lift' of a sailboat as explained by Bernoulli principle

I have heard that when a sailboat is sailing against the wind, it operates on the principle of 'lift'. I am unable to understand the explanation, based on Bernoulli principle, completely. My question ...
0
votes
1answer
367 views

Difference resultant aerodynamics force on an airfoil and a flat plate

From basic airfoil theory the following free body diagram can be determined for a two dimensional asymmetric airfoil: Here the direction of the resultant force is governed by the geometry of the ...