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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A spinning bullet

I know the rifling in a gun or rifle puts a spin on the bullet along the axis of trajectory. Now I don’t understand exactly what does it make the trajectory more stable and the travel grater?
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how does a helicopter get forward thrust?

Just passed a helicopter on my way to work. We have read in some detail how an airplane gets forward thrust and lift by deflecting air. How does a helicopter with horizontal fans achieve that ?
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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 ...
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Effects on the lift of a Wing in a hermetically sealed torus

To help settle an office discussion could someone please explain why this is/is not possible. Assuming that materials could be found that are light and strong enough for its construction. If you ...
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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 ...
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Given a radius and velocity calculate position of an aircraft banking to make a turn in three dimensional space

Suppose an aircraft is moving at a certain fixed altitude above the ground. It follows a path defined by latitude and longitude. Now if we want to define the position of an aircraft at any point in ...
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625 views

What does cross-track wind mean?

In aircraft literature, what does cross-track and along-track wind directions mean? Please explain in terms of the aircraft's motion relative to the wind direction. I can hazard a guess: along-track ...
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Why trimming the mainsail gives a larger torque to head up

I am learning sailing on a 5m catamaran (Nacra 5). I am familiar with basic aerodynamics and the physics of the sail and keel. We learned that when sailing closed hauled, too tight a mainsail tends ...
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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.
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Helicopter in an Elevator

You buy one of those remote control toy helicopters. You bring it into an elevator. The elevator goes up. Does the helicopter hit the floor or does the floor of the elevator push the air up into the ...
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Making a “heavier-than-air” craft float

How big would a hollow rigid object need to be to float, (not in water but in air) if all of the air was vacuumed out and the container sealed?
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Is it really impossible for Bumblebees to fly?

According to some source or other (I forget which now) it is theoretically impossible for bumblebees to fly by virtue of their size/bulk/aerodynamic properties. Is this old adage apocraphyal or true? ...
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NASCAR drafting at Daytona

This year, the racetrack at Daytona has been repaved. The track was always faster than other tracks NASCAR raced at and several cars in a "train" were faster than single cars or smaller trains. This ...
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How does an altimeter work?

In our aerodynamics class we recently discussed the concept of static and dynamic pressure and discussed their application to aircraft instruments. However, I do not understand properly how the ...
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Quickest “flights” across Atlantic and round the world

With the dawning of the private space industry, if someone was to build a rocket-based craft that powers you up and then glides in for a landing, what would be the quickest you could get across the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How do I figure out the effects of wind on flight?

For a school project, I'm trying to make an automated flight planner, considering mainly the differences in flight paths according to wind. Now I've heard that flying with/against the wind affects ...
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How to sail downwind faster than the wind?

Recently a group set a record for sailing a wind-powered land vehicle directly down wind, and a speed faster than wind speed. Wikipedia has a page talking about it, but it doesn't explain exactly how ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...