1
vote
3answers
110 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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
33 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
54 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
2k 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
2answers
95 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
125 views

Efficiency estimation for small-scale (~15cm) propellers

First up, apologies if this isn't quite the place for this; Aerospace is still in Area 51 so there doesn't seem to be a better place for it. If it helps, feel free to give theoretical answers and I'll ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self study [closed]

I have my bachelors degree in engineering science: computer science, option electrotechnic. I have a good understanding of basic mechanics and dynamics, calculus (differential equations). The books ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Ducted or open fluid flow, which is best for aerodynamics and lift

I'm designing a copter and trying to decide if the propellers should be ducted or open axial flow. I've read some theory on ducted and open air flow but I can't find any where that compares the two. I ...
1
vote
2answers
416 views

Are the hypotheses of the Bernoulli equation satisfied for a bird or airplane wing at low Mach number?

A previous question by David Zaslavsky was a request for a broad, "how things work" type of explanation of the lift of an airfoil. The answers given there are enlightening, but don't address a more ...
0
votes
1answer
347 views

Enginering question about F1 car

In formula F1 car, air coming infront of the car goes up with very high velocity as a result pressure difference is created which is very high from Bernoulli theorem.. The F1 car is very light so ...
6
votes
2answers
628 views

Could some design of a propeller be used in both air and water?

Propellers in water are smaller in diameter. They also move more slowly. On the other hand, aircraft propellers are larger in diameter, have narrower blades and operate at very high speeds. An ...
2
votes
2answers
892 views

Whats the anti-torque mechanism in horizontal take-off aircraft?

In most helicopters there is the anti-torque tail rotor to prevent the body from spinning in the opposite direction to the main rotor. What's the equivalent mechanism in horizontal takeoff single ...
2
votes
4answers
359 views

How does an aeroplane maintain balance during maneuvers?

I understand the principle behind flight, how the lift is generated etc. What I don't understand is when there are maneuvers made where the plane flies such that the wings are in vertical plane, how ...
0
votes
3answers
592 views

Effective angle of attack of a wing

Is the angle of attack of a rectangular wing influenced by the dihedral ($\Gamma$) of the wing? If e.g. a wing exists with $\Gamma$ = 0$^{o}$ it has angle of attack $\alpha$. If the dihedral is set ...
1
vote
1answer
526 views

How fast does water fall in the middle of a very very thick waterfall?

Let me create a very artificial experimental set up. Take a bathtub the size of Delaware and suspend it a mile above the ground. Fill it with water (though I'm not sure to what depth - and it might ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

Limitations of drag equation

The magnitude of the air resistance for objects with Reynolds numbers greater than 1000 is given by the formula: Why it does not hold for objects with lower Reynolds numbers? Can I use this ...
4
votes
2answers
857 views

Why do cars gain lift while going at a high speed?

I've been researching the physics involved with spoilers and I've just been turning up the same information about spoilers giving the back wheels of a car more traction by acting as an up side down ...
10
votes
2answers
456 views

Energy from man-made tornadoes

Peter Thiel just paid $300,000 to Canadian inventor Louis Michaud who is working to construct useful "man-made tornadoes" or "atmospheric vortex engines" which could be components of future power ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a wing in a potential flow have lift?

I have a hard time understanding whether or not a wing placed in a potential flow, assuming there is no viscosity and no friction with the wing, will produce a lift. I've seen several contradictory ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

What velocity must an aircraft achieve for its shock wave to transform to plasma?

A follow-up to After what speed air friction starts to heat up an object? I understand there may be technological limitations at present ... but, is it theoretically possible for a body to travel ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

Finding an equation relating the mass of a blade of a wind turbine to its velocity

I'm writing up my physics coursework and I thought I'd try and find an equation described in the title. This is my attempt: Is it correct?
12
votes
5answers
664 views

Is flying really easier on smaller scales?

In the book Playing with Planets, the author makes the following argument, pertinent to flying robots of the future: As it is, an important law of physics says that smaller organisms fly much more ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Felix Baumgartner produce a sonic boom during his jump?

I really got to thinking about this. The speed of sound is measured at 761.2 MPH at sea level. But how does this number change as air density decreases? The lack of air density is what allowed his ...
2
votes
0answers
400 views

propeller flying physics for the layman

I'm starting a (quad?)copter build, and i can find plenty of knowledge about stabilizing the craft and things related to gyroscopy. but there's absolutely zero information on things that help me ...
2
votes
2answers
349 views

What would be an appropiate shape for a parachute?

I'm trying to design a parachute that minimizes the descent velocity, but I'm not sure what shape I should use. From what I've read, ellipse-shaped parachutes are too aerodynamic and minimize drag, ...
5
votes
1answer
843 views

Paper plane between two fans - is this possible?

The setup: two fans facing each other, distance around 1m. Both are turned on. In between them, place a simple paper plane and according to this video, it will fly. ...
1
vote
3answers
960 views

Why airplanes fly: the final truth

The questions about the reasons the aircraft fly are frequent among scientist, since the high school until now, even if I work on the other side of fluid mysterious world (the Low Reynolds numbers ...
13
votes
4answers
966 views

Why is exhaling more forceful than inhaling?

By blowing at pencil, a piece of paper, or another object up to fifty centimeters away, I can cause it to move away from me significantly. But I can't move an object toward myself by inhaling sharply ...
2
votes
2answers
378 views

Forces on an airfoil

I'm building an airplane (Super Baby Great Lakes) and I'm wondering something about airfoils. In particular (this plane is fabric covered), I'm wondering about the lifting forces on the main wings. ...
-2
votes
2answers
306 views

Why does the higher pressure of air underneath an aeroplane wing keep it flying?

With aeroplane flight, the wings are shaped so that the air that goes over the top of the wing has to travel faster than the air that goes below the wing. This means that the air below the wing has ...
2
votes
2answers
910 views

What do bullet trails really look like?

In the movie The Matrix, during "bullet time" sequences, bullets are shown trailing evenly-spaced refracting blobs: ...
3
votes
1answer
465 views

Local Mach number for an airfoil

I would like to know how to calculate the local Mach number on the upper surface of an airfoil given the ambient temperature, the local velocity on the airfoil surface, the freestream velocity, and ...
-1
votes
1answer
448 views

Ping pong ball levitation control system question, modeling as a damper? [closed]

I am building a control system to levitate a ping pong ball at a given height in a clear plastic tube using an arduino and implementing PID control. I have to come up with a transfer function... I am ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Tear drop shape

i heard that a tear drop shap is the most aerodynamic shape possible or the best is this true? If this isn't true what is since i need to make a fast ROV? Also since i need to have a propeller to ...
2
votes
2answers
343 views

Air drag coefficient value

Is there any equation that calculates the $C_d$ value in the formula of air drag ? $$F_d = \rho C_d v^2 A$$ I have found that there are tables for this constant but I am looking for the equation that ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do blades of windturbine propellers as comp. to propellers of ships cover very different areas?

This is a thought I asked myself often, but never did real efforts to get an answer. Barsmonsters question about number of fans of a wind turbine made me think of it again Why do blades of aircraft ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Will a lighter car have a higher top speed than a heavier car with an equal power engine?

If I have a car (with a particular engine) optimized (shape & weight distribution-wise) for attaining the top speeds possible, and I put that engine into a car which is heavier (but otherwise the ...
1
vote
2answers
203 views

How to calculate the effect of roof items on gas mileage?

I have a kayak and a bike. I routinely put them on top of my car and drive 60-70 mph for hundreds of miles. I am curious how much this affects my gas mileage.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How is the Joukowsky Transform used to calculate the Flow of an Airfoil?

As I read in The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose, the Joukowsky transform $$w(z) = \frac12\left( z + \frac1z \right)$$ after Nikolai Zhukovsky (transcribed in several versions from Никола́й Его́рович ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why exactly does a boomerang return back to the thrower?

I was always intrigued by the phenomena that govern the returning back of a boomerang to the thrower. Even if it is dependent on various factors such as velocity, aerodynamics, wind resistance and ...
3
votes
2answers
737 views

logarithmic wind speed profile

Under some atmospheric stability condition, over flat terrain, it has been observed for a while that the ratio between wind speed at height $h_1$ above the earth and the wind speed at height $h_0$ is ...
2
votes
3answers
967 views

Distance travelled in free-fall

When an object is in free fall, we have: $a(t) = g - \frac{c}{m}v(t)^2$ where $g$ is acceleration due to gravity, $m$ is the mass of the object, and $c$ is the coefficient of air resistance. How ...
98
votes
6answers
10k views

What really allows airplanes to fly?

What aerodynamic effects actually contribute to producing the lift on an airplane? I know there's a common belief that lift comes from the Bernoulli effect, where air moving over the wings is at ...