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

1
vote
1answer
44 views

Is the flow in a ducted fan really incompressible?

I have a long duct with a fan in the middle of it. The fan causes a steady airflow in the pipe which is at low speeds (incompressible) the mean flow in the pipe is about 10 m/s. However the fan blades ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Calculate flow rate of air through a pressurized hole

I was wondering about this: If there is a pressurized container, like a tank of compressed air at some pressure that is greater than the ambient air pressure, and this tank of air has a hole in it, ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What does centre of lift depend on?

I've read in many places that centre of lift is about quarter chord of the wing and that post-stall lift (the part developed on lower surface) has centre midchord. The later makes sense; the pressure ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Confused about the theoretical origin of quadratic air drag [duplicate]

Though the mathematical concepts underlying quadratic air drag are quite straightforward (a single variable differential, just like the linear drag equation), my text book (and online text books) ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

How to calculate the drag coefficient using terminal velocity?

I was wondering if it were possible to calculate the drag coefficient by allowing an object to reach terminal velocity. Can you rearrange the terminal velocity formula to give the drag coefficient?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How much more efficient is a road bike than a mountain bike? [closed]

What would be a good estimate on the difference of efficiency between a road bike and a mountain bike? A number of links cite all the usual reasons: thinner tires, better aerodynamics... But I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Why does a piece of paper travels up when inserted into a kite's thread?

When I was young, I would insert a piece of paper into a kite's thread. The paper would travel upward till it reaches the head of that kite. What makes it to go up against the gravity even if the ...
7
votes
0answers
64 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
697 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
180 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
2answers
45 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
81 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
49 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
150 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
44 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
51 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
98 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
75 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
123 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
92 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
102 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
174 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
137 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
167 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
386 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
65 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
52 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
171 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
105 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
68 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
67 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
92 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
69 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
29 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
20 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
183 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
10k 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
113 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
279 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
574 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
126 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 ...