# Tagged Questions

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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### 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 trailing ...
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### 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. ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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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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### Velocity in the lift equation

What exactly is the nature of the velocity in the lift equation? I have read that it is the velocity of the aircraft, and I think I have read that it is the relative velocity of the air to the wing/...
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### Exactly how much lift is needed to overcome the weight of an average person?

I am designing a "glider" of sorts, and I have some basic questions about the physics involved to get me started. How much lift is required to overcome the weight of an average person, say 150 pounds? ...
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### Number of blades in a helicopter rotor

I was wondering how it is possible to determine what is the optimal number of blades in a helicopter rotor. I think that the length of the blade is involved as a longer blades would have to spin ...
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### Causes of hexagonal shape of Saturn's jet stream

NASA has just shown a more detailed picture of the hexagonal vortex/storm on Saturn: http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-releases-images-saturns-hexagon-mega-storm-may-have-been-swirling-centuries-1496218 ...
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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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### What exactly is the 'lift' of a sailboat as explained by Bernoulli principle

I have heard that when a sailboat is sailing against the wind, it operates on the principle of 'lift'. I am unable to understand the explanation, based on Bernoulli principle, completely. My question ...
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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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### How to end up with Newtons in the calculation of the lift force

In another StackExchange Physics question, @Rego had found the following equation to calculate the lift force generated by a simple rectangular blade. $$F = \omega^2 L^2 l\rho\sin^2\phi$$ in ...
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### How can you calculate air resistances at different speeds?

I've read that at 50mph air resistance to an average car is the equivalent of driving through water and at 80mph it's the equivalent of driving through oil. I can't find any references online to ...
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### Why does mini quadcopter doesn't maintain altitude?

I have a mini quadcopter controlled by remote controller. I have set the motors (e.g 50% thrust) it will remain at altitude at 10 cm~ but once I increase to 80% and then follow by decrease to 50% I ...
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### How can electrostatic forces provide lift to the gossamer spider?

I was reading this article entitled "“Ballooning” Spiders Use Electrostatic Forces To Generate Lift". What I would like to know is how can a electrostatically charged object generate lift within the ...
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### What is the physics behind Roger Federer's & Rafael Nadal's iconic shots

Two Iconic players of Tennis, Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, with two iconic shots. One with a top spin forehand & other with a slice backhand. I want to understand the physics of these two ...
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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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### What is wrong with this downforce calculcation?

I tried calculating the downforce of a spoiler I need for a robot. I used this formula. $$F = \frac{1}{2}Ac_a\rho v^2$$ Where $\rho$ is air density, $v$ is the speed of my robot, $c_a$ is the lift ...
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### Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self study

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 I'...
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### In a turning plane, will the vector of combined centrifugal plus gravity force experienced by passengers be perpendicular to the floor?

In a turning plane, will the vector of combined centrifugal plus gravity force experienced by passengers be perpendicular to the floor? In other words, will the passengers experience the feeling of ...
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### Calculating rotor torque out of mass center

Suppose I have an engine with propeller. I know there is aerodynamic force pushing the propeller opposite direction the engine is turning it. One component of this force is creating lift, but second ...
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### Aerodynamics drag of hollow cylinder vs solid cylinder of the same cross area?

I wonder how a hollow cylinder at the same cross area perform vs a solid one, i.e the hollow cylinder has larger radius? I guess they have a similar drag, is that true?
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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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### Why can't supersonic planes “just fly higher” to go faster while maintaining cost?

First post to this site, and I've got at most a high school background in physics - I really appreciate any answer, but I may not be able to follow you if you're too advanced. I suppose this goes for ...
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### Why do wind power plants have just 3 blades? [duplicate]

Why do wind power plants have just 3 blades? It seems that adding more blades would increase the area that interacts with the wind and gather more energy. (Image from Wikipedia.)
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### Equal Transit Time Fallacy [duplicate]

I learned, in grade school, that lift was generated via the particles on either side of the wing having to reach the other end at the same time. Looking back, that indeed has no physicality to it. So ...
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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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### Why is it hard to breathe when cycling against the wind?

Sometimes when I bicycle against hard wind, I find it difficult to breathe. Others I have discussed it with have also noticed this effect. A possible related phenomenon that I heard from an ...
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### Concerning the curvature of an airfoil (shape)

I am wondering about the reasons for the shape of a turbine blade airfoil, see here Do you know the reason for this shape? Usually, very large curvatures like this are to extract high lift from LOW ...
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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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### Liquid oxygen how do they use it as fuel?

Rockets are said to be using liquid oxygen as fuel. How do they use liquid oxygen since it's just oxygen, it only helps in the combustion process. How can it be a fuel on its own?
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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 ...
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### Surviving Free Fall with the Help of Mr. Bernoulli

What is the best strategy to survive a free fall naked out of a jetliner at cruising altitude (ignoring temperature)? For instance, my strategy would be to streamline my fall so that my terminal ...
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### effect of internal forces to a glider's descent

This is a continuation of a previous question, with more thinking applied, thanks to a helpful comment. Imagine a glider is airborne in a breezeless sky. The glider is 3 KM high, is traveling at 100 ...
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### Why does an airplane need to climb during a takeoff even if it is in emergency situation?

Right after take-off (which means an airplane already exceeded V1) it is recommended that an airplane keeps climbing even when emergency occurs. Beside worries of crashing into houses and buildings by ...
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### What is the optimal weight for a golf ball?

I am 32 now, and have forgotten the basic physics formulas we used in school. I am sitting with a question that is bugging me. If I had to hit two golf balls of different weight with the same force, ...
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### Is the total pressure coefficient always 1 in incompressible flow?

I have to do some calculations to get the drag from an experiment with a wake rake. In the equation I have to enter the total pressure coefficient $C_{pt}$, but in my calculations it seems to always ...
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### 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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### Aircraft nose-up glide

In the pilot's introductory book "Stick and Rudder" it claims that a nose-up glide is possible. It doesn't state how, why or when. It implies it's possible to do and maintain a constant forward ...
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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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### Forces on an aircraft - thrust, lift, drag, weight

I'm extremely sceptical about the wikipedia page on aircraft flight mechanics. When describing 'straight climbing flight', it says: lift is unable to alter the aircraft's potential energy or ...