# Tagged Questions

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### How does train back draft work

Quoting platforms and stations : Fast trains can create a vacuum called a ‘back draft’ that can blow you over or suck you under a train. How does that work ? I thought that the volume of air ...
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### How to design windy area - what variables?

When you're walking around malls or parking structures, or a building corner, you'll sometimes notice areas with consistent windiness. I was wondering what positions, angles, wind direction, ...
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### Propellers and the Speed of sound

I was reading this website that described a novel wind turbine technology and it has this quote: In the mid-20th century, open propeller-driven planes with piston engines reached performance ...
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### How a fan moves air? [duplicate]

How does a fan moves air towards you (I mean in 1 direction). Also propeller and fan have different shapes, does it mean they work different?
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### What is going on in front of and behind a fan?

Why is it that when you drop paper behind a fan, it drops, and is not blown/sucked into the fan, whereas if you drop paper in front of a fan, it is blown away?
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### Why Are Normal Shock Waves Unstable in a Converging Channel?

While learning about shock waves in an introductory Gas Dynamics course, it was revealed that normal shocks are unstable if formed in a converging channel. Even if the local conditions ostensibly ...
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### Static,total and velocity pressure at a point

I have a past exam question that I am stuck on. $200$m$^3/s$ of air is entering a shaft of $5m$ diameter, the density is $1.18$kg/m$^3$, and I have shock loss of factor $X=.5$ I want static, ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 ...
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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) ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why do tropical cyclones not tear themselves apart?

A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical storm. Tropical cyclones derive their energy from evaporation of water at the ocean surface which ultimately recondenses ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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.
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Ducted or open fluid flow, which is best for aerodynamics and lift [closed]

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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
694 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...