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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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 ...
12
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3answers
6k views

Does a wing in a potential flow have lift?

I have a hard time understanding whether or not a wing placed in a potential flow, assuming there is no viscosity and no friction with the wing, will produce a lift. I've seen several contradictory (...
11
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8answers
42k views

Why does the air flow faster over the top of an airfoil?

I understand the common explanation of lift, which describes the airflow over the top of the wing as moving faster than the air below the wing. However, I don't quite understand why the air moves ...
7
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1answer
4k views

Why, when one opens 1 car window, does that noise occur?

When you're driving and you open 1 car window, say the front one, there comes a horrible noise, but when you open another window just the slightest bit, this noise goes away (I'm sure most people know ...
13
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
15
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
34
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6answers
32k 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 ...
35
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3answers
5k views

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?
3
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1answer
2k views

Why do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article isn'...
3
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1answer
2k views

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'...
2
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
3k 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 ...
24
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1answer
749 views

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 ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Why is exhaling more forceful than inhaling?

By blowing at pencil, a piece of paper, or another object up to fifty centimeters away, I can cause it to move away from me significantly. But I can't move an object toward myself by inhaling sharply ...
4
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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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 ...
1
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1answer
274 views

Boomerang torque and angular momentum

I'm building a boomerang for a project, but I've made it a goal for myself to have a boomerang which can fly at lest 200 feet, so how would I increase the flight path. Angular momentum increases in ...
1
vote
2answers
427 views

Boomerang physics and aerodynamics

I posted a question before on this website asking how to build a boomerang for a project which can fly at least 200 feet, so how would I increase the flight path. A user responded with: slow down the ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why does your car lurch toward an oncoming truck as it passes you?

I notice that the larger the truck the greater the magnitude of the lurch. Can anyone give a physical explanation to this?
4
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5answers
3k views

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? ...
3
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2answers
302 views

Does drag produce heat?

When a solid object moves through a fluid drag is produced. Does this drag produce heat? I believe drag should produce heat as it is the friction between fluid and surface of object. Is this true or ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

How is the kinetic energy of the wind transferred onto a lift based wind turbine?

The rotor blades of a lift based wind turbine are shaped like airfoils, so the wind flowing around them creates a lift force which in turn moves them around. From a thermodynamic viewpoint and like ...
27
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2answers
21k 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 ...
11
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Is Magnus effect a corollary of Bernoulli principle?

Magnus effect is commonly explained using Bernoulli principle. However, taking the lift on a rotating cylinder as an example, the velocity difference is caused by the extra work done by the rotating ...
9
votes
1answer
409 views

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 ...
8
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5answers
6k views

Why is 55-60 MPH optimal for gas mileage of a passenger car?

My driver's education teacher back in high school said 55 MPH is optimal for gas mileage of a passenger car. Just last week, I read an article in a magazine saying 60 MPH is optimal. These numbers are ...
6
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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 ...
4
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2answers
367 views

The demise of the Tacoma Narrows bridge was casused by aeroelastic flutter. But isn't that just a special case of resonance?

Much of the research I've done on the Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster of 1940 attribute the collapse of the bridge due to aeroelastic flutter - not strucural resonance. But isn't aeroelastic flutter ...
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2answers
850 views

Finding an equation relating the mass of a blade of a wind turbine to its velocity

I'm writing up my physics coursework and I thought I'd try and find an equation described in the title. This is my attempt: Is it correct?
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
552 views

Why don't surfboards fly out the back of a utility truck when driving on the highway?

I have never had it happen myself and every time I throw my boards (shortboards not malibus) in the back of someone's ute, with no cover on the tray, they always assure me they'll be alright( the ...
5
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2answers
543 views

Laws of aerodynamics after breaking the sound barrier

my knowledge of physics is not very extensive, so I hope my question isn't too stupid. I know that when (for instance) a plane breaks trough the sound barrier, the laws of the aerodynamics change. ...
4
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2answers
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: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_uypMqSrmflo/S18yZJPET_I/AAAAAAAAAGk/CDjoZaOLbwY/s400/...
4
votes
3answers
632 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
404 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Calculation for force generated by a rotating rectangular blade

When trying to calculate the lift force generated by a simple rectangular blade, I've found the following equation: $$F = \omega^2 L^2 l\rho\sin^2\phi$$ in which $\omega$ is the angular velocity, $L$ ...
8
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
512 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
997 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Lift and drag coefficients on other planets

The question I'm trying to answer seemed simple: how hard would it be to fly on a planet with lower gravity but also thinner atmosphere compared to Earth. If the answer could hint me at how much ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

How does a supersonic flight speedometer work? [closed]

I'm sure today they can use GPS and radar, but I was pondering the queation when I saw a film clip of a vintage analog dial labeled in mach number. I'm supposing that the usual way of measuring the ...
2
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1answer
10k 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, ...
1
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4answers
507 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
338 views

Is this simulation following real physics?

I am trying to simulate a game in Box2D(Physics engine). The game that I am trying to simulate is very simple and can be found here: http://www.makaimedia.com/#/speartoss What I want to know is that, ...
1
vote
1answer
143 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 ...
-1
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2answers
2k views

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 ...