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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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 ...
9
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2answers
684 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
741 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
96 views

Motion of elevating airplane

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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3answers
118 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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2answers
559 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
89 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
170 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
386 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
69 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
61 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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2answers
123 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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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
277 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 ...
2
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1answer
46 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
25 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
366 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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1answer
71 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 ...
2
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2answers
47 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
120 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 ...
3
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1answer
145 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
3k 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 ...
3
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1answer
43 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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2answers
7k views

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 ...
2
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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
48 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
211 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
74 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 ...
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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 ...
4
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1answer
68 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 ...
4
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1answer
88 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
100 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 ...
3
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2answers
505 views

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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2answers
2k views

Why does an airliner burn more fuel at lower altitudes?

At lower altitude an aeroplane usually has more lift. However an aeroplane flying at low altitudes (with gear/flaps up) at low velocity burns the same amount of fuel it would flying much faster at a ...
2
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2answers
128 views

Why Don't Birds Stall?

I often hear about planes stalling when they lose lift due to low airspeed/too high angle of attack. Why don't birds stall? Does it have to do with the structure of their wings and their flexibility, ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ?
5
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1answer
151 views

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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2answers
1k views

Does it make sense to open one window all the way when the other window is much smaller?

I can't wrap my head around this idea because I don't know much about air flows. Say we have this imaginary apartment with two windows, one of which is two times smaller than the other: Will the ...
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5answers
4k views

Why isn't jumping from a high altitude fatal?

After seeing this answer claiming that displacing matter "In a very short time", "no matter whether the matter is solid, liquid, or gas" (even though he concludes that falling from a high altitude is ...
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6answers
5k views

Why is jumping into water from high altitude fatal?

If I jump from an airplane straight positioned upright into the ocean, why is it the same as jumping straight on the ground? Water is a liquid as opposed to the ground, so I would expect that by ...
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2answers
124 views

Does the wing-propeller plane or jet-plane struggle up at the high altitudes because of low pressure?

We all know that wing-propeller planes rely on air to create a thrust. They suck the air in and push them back hard that it's opposite reaction pushes the plane (Newton's law). Does that mean ...
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2answers
380 views

Toy helicopters at very high altitude

Because air is thin up there, toy helicopters usually have a maximum operational altitude. If the toy brought up by a real aircraft, higher than its intended maximum altitude, would it be able to ...
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1answer
50 views

Aerodynamics and thermodynamic [closed]

Why can we refer an object as being aerodynamic but we can't refer an object as being thermodynamic, and if an object is thermodynamic what does it even means?
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2answers
483 views

Energy from man-made tornadoes

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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3answers
152 views

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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2answers
46 views

What would be the minimal size of an aerial vehicle capable of sustained suspersonic flight? [closed]

I wonder, what's the smallest possible size for a UAV capable of sustained supersonic flight at the current technology level? Let's say 10 minutes of flight at 1.1 M.
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2answers
85 views

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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0answers
88 views

Modal analysis with aerodynamic damping

I'm using modal decomposition to predict the steady state response of a beam structure to harmonic loading. The structure itself is very lightly damped, but we know from experiments that the ...
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3answers
1k views

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 ...