I'm designing an ultralight for a wind tunnel test in SketchUp, and I was wondering if there was a mathematical method to optimizing the length and chord of a simple wing that would be located at the top of the body. I felt this location was best so that the airflow moving over would be as undisturbed by the rest of the body as possible. Should I use a program like Autodesk Flow first? I can run it @ 60fps for up to 1200 particles.

  • $\begingroup$ If your idea is to try to simulate the hydrodynamic flow of air over an airfoil by studying a simulation with only 1200 particles acting as air molecules, that's not going to work. $\endgroup$
    – user93237
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ I meant to use the simulator as a rough estimate only. I would definitely prefer and probably require an in depth answer. $\endgroup$
    – Jihyun
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that the proposed method would work even as a rough estimate. The problem is that your 1200 particle simulation corresponds to the airfoil moving through a fairly high vacuum with particles having an extremely long mean free path comparable to or greater than the size of your airfoil. That puts your simulation in a completely different hydrodynamic flow regime than air at atmospheric pressure. $\endgroup$
    – user93237
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ This is Autodesk Flow. The 'particles' are only visual representations of different resolutions, I'm pretty sure all proper laws of physics and fluid dynamics are considered in the numbers provided. $\endgroup$
    – Jihyun
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 23:56


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.