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).

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Thought Experiment: spinning ping-pong ball on International Space Station. What would Happen?

A ping-pong ball with a certain vector and rotation/spin in zero G, 1 atmosphere. If you did this experiment in a space station would the ball 'orbit in a circular fashion. or "Can you throw a ...
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39 views

Is there a way to convert CFM (rate of air moved) to kilograms of lift generated?

Is there a way to convert CFM as in a rate of volume of air moved to kilograms of lift generated?
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1answer
147 views

Boomerang torque and angular momentum

I'm building a boomerang for a project, but I've made it a goal for myself to have a boomerang which can fly at lest 200 feet, so how would I increase the flight path. Angular momentum increases in ...
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0answers
61 views

Books on experimental methods, fluid mechanics related

I need some good books on experimental methods, requirements are: Fluid mechanics related; Thermal, multi-phase etc. topics should be covered; Traditional methods are good, but it would be greater ...
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2answers
132 views

Why can't we fly? [closed]

Why can't we fly? It contradicts with our known laws of physics, but which one? Is it possible that once we know gravity better we would be able to fly using some sort of anti-gravity machines like ...
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1answer
65 views

When an aircraft flies over, glass window vibrates…Infrasound?

When an aircraft flies over, my big glass window vibrates, making a ticktack beating. Its frequency sounds low, less than 10 beats per second actually. I'm wondering about the mechanism of this ...
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42 views

Why are flight feathers asymmetric?

I've always heard that flight feathers were asymmetric because the shape generates lift, like an airplane wing airfoil shape. But, the feathers are not oriented with the shaft perpendicular to the ...
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5answers
90 views

Is more lift always better?

In the domain of aircraft, and more specifically powered flight, is there any case in which you wouldn't want the airfoil used to generate as much lift (and as little drag) as possible at a null angle ...
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2answers
96 views

Does drag produce heat?

When a solid object moves through a fluid drag is produced. Does this drag produce heat? I believe drag should produce heat as it is the friction between fluid and surface of object. Is this true or ...
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49 views

Would Superman's flight be damaging? [closed]

I recently asked this question on the effects of Superman's sonic booms and it's become clear that Physics.SE is better equipped to answer it. I'll set up some assumptions. Superman's travelling to ...
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1answer
60 views

Measuring small amounts of lift in a wind tunnel

I am doing a science project on how paper airplanes generate lift, and I need to know how to measure the amount of lift generated by the plane.
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1answer
461 views

Why do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article ...
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1answer
535 views

what kind of wings would a person need to fly?

I heard from a teacher in school that in order to fly, he would need a wingspan much wider than the wood shop where he was standing. Thinking back on it, I assume the number of times you can beat your ...
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3answers
2k views

Benefits of rear spoiler in cars

What would be the benefits of rear spoilers in cars, like this one:
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0answers
30 views

If i had a aero-nautical object [closed]

If i had a aero-nautical object with a span of 10 feet and a weight of 40 pounds with a strong gale blowing do you think i could make it off a cliff with out plummeting to total utter death?
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1answer
44 views

Delta wing flow patterns (straight and yawing)

I was wondering the differences between fluid patterns and their consequences when a delta wing is straight and yawed slightly.
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1answer
100 views

What causes a spacecraft entering the atmosphere to catch fire? [closed]

What causes a spacecraft entering the atmosphere to catch fire? A) surface tension of air B) viscosity of air C) high temperature of upper atmosphere D) greater proportion of ...
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2answers
471 views

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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1answer
66 views

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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3answers
388 views

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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1answer
1k views

What is a Physically Accurate Explanation for the Kutta Condition?

Countless arguments between highly intelligent people have been waged (on this very site in fact) as to exactly how lift can be explained in an experimentally and mathematically rigorous way. Taking ...
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433 views

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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3answers
3k views

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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1answer
153 views

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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2answers
150 views

Number of blades in a fan

How does the number of blades in a fan affect the flux of air? I read that 3 blades are the best option but some companies uses more blades because there's a misconception among people that more ...
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0answers
86 views

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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1answer
98 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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, ...
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1answer
128 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 ...
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232 views

Integrating pressure over a surface

Consider the 2D airfoil below. In engineering (and maybe physics) you will often see something like the following as an expression for the pressure force acting on a surface (in this case a curve ...
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2answers
140 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) ...
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1answer
305 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?
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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0answers
227 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 ...
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2answers
857 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 ...
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2answers
250 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 ...
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1answer
236 views

Why are the backs of airplanes curved?

I get the front part, but why is the back curved too? I do not see a problem with the back being flat.
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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 ...
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2answers
83 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?
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1answer
180 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 ...
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2answers
81 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 ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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4answers
960 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 ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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0answers
70 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 ...
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1answer
512 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 ...
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2answers
260 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 ...
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2answers
87 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 ...
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2answers
83 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 ...