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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98
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6answers
10k views

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 ...
10
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
4answers
980 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
420 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
971 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
396 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
966 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
422 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

What exactly is the 'lift' of a sailboat as explained by Bernoulli principle

I have heard that when a sailboat is sailing aginst the wing, it operates on the principle of 'lift'. I did not understand very well the explanation based on Bernoulli principle. My question is, when ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

Limitations of drag equation

The magnitude of the air resistance for objects with Reynolds numbers greater than 1000 is given by the formula: Why it does not hold for objects with lower Reynolds numbers? Can I use this ...
2
votes
0answers
150 views

What kind of shape has the lowest flutter wind speed?

What kind of shape has the lowest flutter wind speed and is the most unstable? I mean for rigid body. Thanks Yes, I know many factors affect the flutter in a MSD system (for rigid body), however ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self study [closed]

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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, $L$ ...
1
vote
1answer
250 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, ...
-2
votes
2answers
309 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 ...