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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Why does a brand new cricket ball swings?

Why does a brand new cricket ball swings? Both the sides of seam are equally smooth. None of them is rougher than the other. Can someone please explain the exact physics behind it?
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33 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
602 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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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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3answers
141 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 ...
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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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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
107 views

Motion of elevating airplane [closed]

I wonder how the motion of an airplane which will not try stop to elevate should look like. Of course, at some point the plane will no longer be able to go to higher altitudes but is it going to stay ...
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1answer
45 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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Is airplane moving slower when air is less dense? [closed]

Is airplane moving slower at higher altitude ? If air is less compressed shouldn't propeller move less air ?
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67 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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37 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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434 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 ...
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127 views

Disconnected aileron/surface deflection in terms of speed?

Would a disconnected surface, especially aileron, deflect upwards as you slow down due to increased alpha? I figure out it is more likely to deflect upwards as you increase your airspeed, thus having ...
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71 views

Stratospheric ship

Let's assume that we build a giant steel hull in a shape of cube with open top (2km long edge) and lift it to the top of stratosphere and then pump air out of it. Would it float on the outer layer of ...
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1answer
51 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
112 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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2answers
852 views

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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1answer
49 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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2answers
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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
44 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
1k 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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2answers
49 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
2k views

Difference between propeller and fan in pulling force

In the context of producing a pulling force perpendicular to the 'spinning plane' of a propeller/fan, is it correct to say that a propeller mainly achieves it's force by being aerofoils producing ...
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1answer
46 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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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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709 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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623 views

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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2answers
108 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
187 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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4answers
391 views

Bicycle Wheel Drag in Slipstream

I was recently driving behind a car that had a bicycle mounted on a carrier over the rear bumper. The bicycle wheels were not bound so they were rotating in the slip-stream of the car. I wonder, the ...
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2answers
70 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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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
9k views

How can airplanes fly upside down?

I've read many times, including here on this very site that the commonly known explanation of flight is wrong, and that airplanes can fly because the shape of their wings deflects air down. This makes ...
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4answers
294 views

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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56 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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1answer
81 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
49 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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4answers
200 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
159 views

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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2answers
4k views

Position of aerofoil force moment, center of pressure, aerodynamic center

I'm confused by wikipedia's page on aerofoils, the aerodynamic center, and center of pressure; it seems to contradict itself. The airofoils page says the center of pressure is at the same position as ...
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1answer
46 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
63 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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2answers
50 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
218 views

Supermarket refrigerator - why is it noticebable colder in this shop area?

As we know fridge can't cool room in which it is (according to Second Law of Thermodynamics, heat emitted by fridge is greater than heat absorped). However, when we go next to the fridge in ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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1answer
109 views

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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1answer
138 views

Effect of Earth's magnetic field on aeroplanes?

As an aeroplane accelerates through the Earth's B-field, it experiences a changing flux $d\phi \over dt$ and a potential difference is induced along its wings. Given the wings are made of metal and ...
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3answers
102 views

Why doesn't this model plane fly? [closed]

I have been designing a model plane for Design Technology for the past month or so, and today I laser cut my final design and assembled, it then tested it. Upon testing the plane does not get any ...