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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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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2answers
113 views

Can the Arcaboard fly?

Recently, BBC news had a video that claimed to show a "real" hoverboard: As far as I can tell, there are 36 small fans on this device, and it seems to be flying just a few inches off the ground. ...
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Why does the higher pressure of air underneath an aeroplane wing keep it flying?

With aeroplane flight, the wings are shaped so that the air that goes over the top of the wing has to travel faster than the air that goes below the wing. This means that the air below the wing has ...
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1answer
31 views

what causes airborne bodies to tilt?

Imagine a Helium-inflated oblate spheroid floating still (A). Buoyancy force cancels gravity force on Y axis. Object is tied to ground with a rope. If a wind force is applied on X axis, why does the ...
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2answers
317 views

Could a bladeless “Tesla Turbine” type air compressor be used as a high vacuum pump?

I have a wacky idea for a new vacuum pump, I'm trying to figure out why it shouldn't work. I'm interested in learning about Tesla Turbines, specifically when used in reverse as compressors or vacuum ...
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1answer
52 views

When does the shock occurred?

I'm between this 2 conditions that when does the shock occurred over an airfoil. When the speed of point of an airfoil reach to sonic velocity of environment. When the speed of point of an airfoil ...
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0answers
37 views

Plane landing into a tunnel

Typical action movies cliché is landing a plane in a tunnel or even a flight in a tunnel. Let's drop any doubts about supreme heroic piloting skills of the characters etc. and focus on aerodynamics. ...
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0answers
34 views

Why does the shock in viscous flow occur sooner than non-viscous one?

Why does the shock in viscous flow occur sooner than non-viscous one? If we want to discuss about drag, which one has bigger drag? This figure may help.
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4answers
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Why airplanes fly: the final truth

The questions about the reasons the aircraft fly are frequent among scientist, since the high school until now, even if I work on the other side of fluid mysterious world (the Low Reynolds numbers ...
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4answers
2k 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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2answers
1k views

What would be an appropiate shape for a parachute?

I'm trying to design a parachute that minimizes the descent velocity, but I'm not sure what shape I should use. From what I've read, ellipse-shaped parachutes are too aerodynamic and minimize drag, ...
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1answer
96 views

Is it possible that viscous flow has a higher lift to drag ratio than inviscid flow?

I have a code for airflow around an airfoil. When I compare viscous and non-viscous flow at the same Mach number for a cruise, viscous flow has a higher lift to drag ratio than non-viscous flow. Is it ...
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2k views

What do bullet trails really look like?

In the movie The Matrix, during "bullet time" sequences, bullets are shown trailing evenly-spaced refracting blobs: ...
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3answers
34 views

Modelling an Airplane Question

For an assignment of mine I am creating a very basic model of an airplane, where I choose to consider a fixed amount of parameters that affect flight and to disregard others which I find too difficult ...
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1answer
43 views

How does quadcopter's battery capacity relate to it's maximum flight time?

Suppose that we have a quadcopter weighing 3 kg (without a battery) and a battery (let it be Li-Ion type) weighing 2 kg. With this battery our quad can hover for 20 minutes until the battery runs ...
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1answer
149 views

Why golf balls travel faster if they spin?

From the book I have been given to read I found that balls spin due to the centripetal force but i am confused about how exactly do the resultant force causes it to spin and move forward about the ...
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7answers
2k views

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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2answers
604 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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1answer
259 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
842 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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1answer
553 views

Why do bowlers rub the ball before bowling in a cricket match?

Why do bowlers rub the ball before bowling in a cricket match? What is the science behind it? Is it because of friction?
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1answer
2k views

Paper plane between two fans - is this possible?

The setup: two fans facing each other, distance around 1m. Both are turned on. In between them, place a simple paper plane and according to this video, it will fly. ...
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1answer
45 views

What forces are involved in bending a freekick like that? [duplicate]

Look at this amazing, incredible goal (higher resolution at youtube). What are the possible forces that can conspire together to make the ball bend like that?
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0answers
48 views

Calculate ballistics using Pejsa method (bullet physics)

I'm not sure if it was already asked, but, could someone please explain the Pejsa method of ballistics, specifically the velocity and trajectory (no energy, wind or lead etc.) (just drop drift and ...
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1answer
45 views

Effect of paint on drag force [closed]

Aerospace engineering as well as automobile engineering gives a particular significance to the shape of a vehicle to enable proper and more effective transportation.What I want to know, is, about the ...
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1answer
59 views

Physical intuition for Lamb vector

In many aerodynamical descriptions involving vortex structures (e.g. the Crocco's theorem) there is a useful physical quantity called Lamb vector: $$ \vec{\omega} \times \vec{v} $$ where ...
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2answers
376 views

Why does a propeller suck in air from the front?

A rotating but fixed propeller sucks in air from the front. What is the cause for this acceleration of air particles? Since propeller blades act like rotating wings, my best guess is that the blades ...
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2answers
2k 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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What shape has the highest drag coefficient?

This image from NASA illustrates drag coefficients for several shapes: It is generally accepted that some variation of the teardrop/airfoil shape has the lowest drag coefficient. I was wondering ...
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1answer
125 views

Why is an airplane propeller so different from a boat propeller in shape? [closed]

Examples: Airplane propeller Source:http://www.sensenich.com Boat propeller Source:http://www.nauticexpo.com It is obvious that the airplane propeller is drastically different from the boat ...
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1answer
87 views

Boeing 737 Homework Problem [closed]

I have done the above problem, but have come out with a rather large surface area. Could someone point out my mistake(s)? Given/Assumptions: I assume $\sum F_y=0$ because it's level and straight. ...
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1answer
42 views

Simulating supersonic flight in game

So this question about how to implement a good looking simulation of super-hypersonic flight of a rocket from launch point to orbit. I have an idea how to implement a good looking aerodynamic on ...
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0answers
44 views

How is egg shaped ball different from a spherical ball, aerodynamically?

I don't know whether this is the right place to ask this question or not but, how is an egg shaped ball aerodynamically different that the spherical ball? What advantages could one have over the ...
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1answer
36 views

Power vs. Speed - Indoor rowing

In the sport of indoor rowing (and probably others) I know that to double your speed you must increase your power output by a factor of eight. I am wondering why this is the case. The indoor rower ...
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1answer
40 views

Aircraft Thrust to weight ratio contradiction with energy conservation

Usually, airliners have (Thrust/Weight) T/W ratio in the range of 0.2 to 0.8 and for steady flight W = lift My question is, for example, that Antonov 225 has Thrust/weight: 0.234 for max takeoff ...
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2answers
190 views

Are raindrops actually “shaped like tears” when they fall?

Raindrops are always pictured like this, people imagine they have this shape when they fall, but is this true? Doesn't this shape create too much drag? What shape do they really have? It would also be ...
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3answers
958 views

Why is an Aircraft Runway NOT like a Teaspoon?

If the aircraft runway were like a teaspoon (by this I mean, flat in the beginning, then curving downwards and finally upwards), would it not work in favor of the propulsion of the aircraft? In spite ...
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1answer
66 views

rocket vertical landing [closed]

SpaceX has published a couple of videos that show one of their heavy-lift rockets landing vertically in a highly specific location. How is it possible that they are able to control so many ...
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4answers
9k 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 ...
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4answers
415 views

Aerodynamics of two objects closely following each other

On bicycles.se a question came up about whether one cyclist drafting another causes the lead cyclist to be slowed down. A contributor suggested that the opposite might be the case, that the leading ...
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2answers
56 views

How to estimate wind speed from a pressure difference?

Does a formula (or a rule of thumb) exist to estimate the wind speed between a high pressure area and a low pressure area given the pressure difference between the two areas? Only the wind resulting ...
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2answers
9k 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
73 views

What is the difference between the Method of Characteristics being formulated in terms of theta & alpha and theta & nu?

So I'm doing an MSc thesis involving the method of characteristics in rocket nozzles. My lecture notes have the MoC formulated such that the positive characteristics are defined as: C+ = Tan ( ...
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3answers
3k 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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3answers
3k views

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 why does it make the trajectory more stable and allow for greater travel?
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4answers
48 views

How do I figure out the totally airborne height for a given machine?

Technically "airborne" can just mean to move through the air, but I would like to know how high you have to be before you are entirely supported by air in a helicopter-like machine, as opposed to ...
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1answer
33 views

Equal transit fallacy in viscous materials

Does the equal transit theory work in viscous materials? It would seem here that if one were flying through something like gelatin the particles would come together at the tail end of the wing.
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4answers
2k views

How does a converging-diverging nozzle not violate conservation of energy?

Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about fluid dynamics, and very little about physics in general. THis may be a really dumb question. Now, at subsonic speeds, converging and diverging nozzles ...
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1answer
82 views

Why do throwing knives need to be balanced?

Indeed, unbalanced throwing knives are used, but I have read that balanced throwing knives are easier to use, because due to their geometric center being the same as their center of mass. Why would ...
167
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10answers
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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 ...