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Virtual Experiments

Watch the experiments and explanation videos developed by Ascher H Shapiro who
was Professor at MIT, USA to explain the many concepts in aerodynamics like forces in
fluids, similarity, boundary layer, flow separation, drag force, etc.

Name of the experiments


1. How does drag of a sphere change with increasing speed?

2. Comparison between the drag of a smooth and a slightly-roughened sphere.

3. How does streamlining a body influence fluid drag in a slightly viscous fluid?

4. How does streamlining a body influence fluid drag in a very viscous fluid?

References
1. A H Shapiro. Fluid Dynamics of Drag Part I-IV (video), 1961.

2. A H Shapiro. Shape and flow: The fluid dynamics of drag, Heinemann (1964).

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Experiment 1(a):
Study of subsonic wind tunnel and its calibration

Objective
Study the subsonic wind tunnel and its components. Calibrate the subsonic wind tunnel
by measuring the velocity profile in the test-section.

Deliverable
1. Sketch the wind tunnel and its components, and discuss the role of the components.

2. Variation of mean flow speed in the test section with fan speed, along with the
empirical correlation obtained using least square fit on the data.

3. Variation of unit Reynolds number of the wind tunnel with fan speed.

4. Velocity distribution (transverse direction) in the test section.

5. Compute the losses (i) section from inlet to wire mesh, and (ii) contraction section
of the wind tunnel. Obtain a rough estimate of power required to run the tunnel at
various speeds.

Equipments
1. The experiments are to be performed in the Flight demonstration wind tunnel. Fur-
ther details of the facility can be found in the wind tunnel handout [1].

2. Pitot-static tube along with traverse mechanism.

3. Multi-tube manometer with ethanol ( = 789 kg/m3 ).

Questions
1. Why a diffuser is placed after the test section?

2. Variation of static pressure and total pressure along the length of the wind tunnel
including the fan.

References
1. The flight demonstration wind tunnel, Users Manual.

2. Jewel B. Barlow, William H. Rae, Alan Pope, Low-speed wind tunnel testing, Wiley,
3rd Edition, 1999.

3. http://navier.stanford.edu/bradshaw/tunnel/

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Experiment 1(b):
Sensitivity of pitot-static tube with angle of attack

Objective
To quantify the sensitivity of pitot pressure and static pressure due to inclination of pitot-
static tube with respect to the flow.

Deliverable
1. Variation of pitot pressure (in percentage) with respect to the inclination of flow from
-30 deg to 30 deg.

2. Variation of static pressure (in percentage) with respect to the inclination of flow
from -30 deg to 30 deg.

3. Variation of measured velocity (in percentage) due to inclination of the pitot-static


tube.

Equipments
1. The experiments are to be performed in the Flight demonstration wind tunnel.

2. Pitot-static tube along with rotary mechanism to change the angle.

3. Multi-tube manometer with ethanol ( = 789 kg/m3 ).

Questions
1. What is the minimum velocity can be measured using the manometer available in
the lab?

References
1. B. J McKeon et.al, Velocity, Vorticity, and Mach Number, In: Cameron Tropea,
Alexander L. Yarin, John F. Foss (Eds.) Springer Handbook of Experimental Fluid
Mechanics, Springer, 2007.

2. Jewel B. Barlow, William H. Rae, Alan Pope, Low-speed wind tunnel testing, Wiley,
3rd Edition, 1999.

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Experiment 2:
Pressure distribution over an airfoil

Objective
The objective of this experiments is calculate lift and drag coefficients from the pressure
distribution over an airfoil.

Methodology
1. Measure the static pressure distribution over the airfoil surfaces at a given Reynolds
number for different angles of attack.

2. Repeat the above procedure for different Reynolds numbers.

Deliverables
1. Derivation of cl and cd from pressure distribution.

2. Variation of (i) lift per span (l) and drag per span (d), (ii) lift (cl ) and drag (cd )
coefficient, (iii) l/d, and (iv) cl /cd with angle of attacks () for different Reynolds
number. Compare the results with literature.

3. Compare the above results with thin airfoil theory, and with xfoil/xflr5 predictions
using invicid and viscous models.

4. Variation of stalling angle with Reynolds number.

Equipment
1. Flight demonstration wind tunnel.

2. Airfoil model with pressure tapping.

3. Inclined tube manometer.

Questions
1. Why stalling happens in the airfoil?

2. What are the classifications of drag?

3. Does the drag calculated from the experimental measurements represent the total
drag on the airfoil?

4. Identify the parameters specified in the NACA nomenclature of the airfoil supplied.

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References
1. Abbott, I. H., and von Doenhoff, A. E., Theory of wing sections, including a summary
of Airfoil data, McGraw-Hill, 1949.

2. Anderson, J. D., Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, 5th edition, Tata McGraw- Hill


Education, 2010.

3. The flight demonstration wind tunnel, Users Manual.

4. http://web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/xfoil/

5. http://www.xflr5.com/xflr5.htm

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Experiment 3:
Drag of a cylinder using pendulum method

Objective
To determine the drag of a circular cylinder using pendulum method.

Methodology
1. Measure the angular defection of the model for different Reynolds number.

2. Measure the weight of pendulum and cylinder, and lengths of the connecting rods.

Deliverables
1. Draw a free body diagram of the model support with an explanation of drag calcu-
lation.

2. Plot the variation of CD with Re. Compare the results with literature.

Equipment
1. Modular flow apparatus

2. Circular cylinder and support mechanism

3. Inclined tube manometer

Questions
1. Explain the observed behavior of drag co-efficient.

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Experiment 4:
Flow through a pipe bend

Objective
To study the effect of streamline curvature on the pressure distribution of constant area
circular bend.

Background
General equations of motion for inviscid incompressible flows can be written in streamline
co-ordinates as
V P
V = (1)
s s
P V 2
= (2)
n r
where, s and n are directions along and normal to the streamline respectively, and r is the
radius of curvature of the stream line. From these equations, it could be seen that, if the
streamlines are curved a pressure gradient is set up normal to flow direction also.

Methodology
1. Measure the static pressure distribution in the wall along the flow direction and
perpendicular to the flow direction.

2. Repeat the above for different free stream velocities.

Deliverables
1. Variation of wall static pressure distribution and wall coefficient of pressure along the
flow direction and perpendicular to the flow direction for a given Reynolds number.

2. Compute the theoretical variation of coefficient of pressure variation perpendicular


to the flow direction by assuming that the velocity variation with radius is like in
free vortex and compare this with experimental results.

3. A schematic representation of the coefficient of pressure variation on the walls, su-


perimposed on the scale drawing of the bend.

Equipment
1. Modular flow apparatus

2. Circular bend

3. Inclined tube manometer

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Questions
1. Consider the part of the pipe where it transitions for a straight duct to the circular
bend. What is the pressure distribution in this region?

2. Explain how the apparatus can be used as a flow meter. Calculate the discharge
co-efficient for this set-up.

References
1. Bruce R. Munson, Donald F. Young, Theodore H. Okiishi, Fundamentals of Fluid
Mechanics, 6th Edition -Wiley (2009), pp: 93-133.

2. http://web.iyte.edu.tr/ unverozkol/Fluid lab/Flow around a bent duct-theory.pdf

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