I saw this graphic on Wikipedia giving the drag coefficient of a variety of shapes placed into an oncoming fluid medium:


Of interest here is that the hemisphere has a drag coefficient of ~0.42, or even ~0.38 if presumably connected to an extending body, but the wedge (or cone?) of 60 degrees apex has a coefficient of ~0.50. Assuming both decimals are accurate, I find this a little counterintuitive, because the hemisphere seems "blunter" than the wedge or cone, so it would feel like it should have more drag.

What's up here?


1 Answer 1


the wedge imparts a significant sideways velocity component to the air moving over it. The air leaving the end of the wedge retains that velocity and the turbulent wake left behind the wedge is therefore wider than the wedge. This means more air is set in motion and more work is performed on it by the wedge, than in the case of the hemisphere.


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