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My question is about laminar flow across a smooth surface. I have read about how the eddy currents, caused by dimples, at the surface help a blunt object travel through the air with less drag as in a spinning golf ball. I have also read about skin friction drag that happens across a smooth surface such as a fixed airplane wing. With this being said what if we have a spinning surface that acts like a fixed wing. Would the dimples help as in the flight of a disc like apparatus, such as a flying frisbee disc, which is spinning and acting like a fixed wing at the same time?

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Do dimples reduce drag if the flow in question is entirely laminar? No.

Do dimples often reduce the total drag on objects which are causing turbulence as they pass through calm air? Yes.

I can think of only one conclusive way to answer your question about the frisbee, and that is to get a bunch of similar frisbees, put dimples on some of them, and take some data!

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  • $\begingroup$ My prediction is that it doesn't help, for what that's worth. But don't let my pessimism stop you! $\endgroup$ – Duncan Harris Apr 24 '16 at 19:34

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