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# Aerodynamics: Some Fundamental Principles and Equations

(Ch. 2)

Introduction:

## This chapter covers a great deal of material from your

previous fluid mechanics courses.

because of that.

## However, you are reminded that you are responsible for

knowing the material and that it is your responsibility to
review the material if you are having difficulty.

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Circulation (Sect. 2.13, pp 174-177)

## Circulation is of fundamental importance in calculating

aerodynamic lift.

## Consider the closed curve C as shown below

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The definition of circulation is formally given as
d d

=
C
V d s.

## Mathematically, the direction of the path integral is taken as

positive if we traverse the curve in the counter-clockwise
direction.
For reasons that we will learn later, it is more convenient to
traverse the curve in the clockwise direction hence the
negative sign.
Stokes theorem gives us
d d d d

=
C
( )
V d s = V d S ,
S

## where S is the surface bounded by C.

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The surface and defining quantities are shown below

## The curl of the velocity field is a defined quantity in fluid

mechanics and aerodynamics and is called the vorticity, .

The
flow is defined as irrotational if the circulation is zero, or
= 0 everywhere.
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In the limit of a vanishingly small area we have
d d d d
( ) ( )
d = V d S = V n ds.

Hence

d d d
n = .
ds

## This allows us to interpret the negative of the normal

component of vorticity as the circulation per unit area.

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Ideal Inviscid Flow and the Stream Function (Sect. 2.14, pp. 177-
181)

## In the early development of hydrodynamics a fluid was

considered ideal if it was incompressible and inviscid, i.e.
= const. (or V = 0 ) and = 0 (or = 0 ).

## This is never true for a real fluid as 0 . However, it is a

good approximation in some cases ( Re for streamline
bodies).

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Setting = 0 and = constant in the Navier-Stokes
equations results in the Euler equations given by

DV P
= G
Dt

where G is the gravitational acceleration.

## For an ideal (incompressible, inviscid) flow we have Eulers

equation, in vector form
P
( )
V V = gh +

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Notice that

(
V V =)1
2
( )
V V V V ,

which can be seen by expanding both the left and right hand
sides in components.

Thus

P
1
( )
V V V V = gh + .

2

Now if the flow is irrotational ( V = 0 ) we have

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V V P
+ gh + =
0.
2

## This must be true everywhere hence

V2 P
+ gh + =constant.
2

## This is identical to Bernoullis equation; except that we have

removed the restriction that we must remain on a streamline
is lifted!

## The Bernoulli constant is the same on all streamlines for an

ideal, irrotational flow, which is not true for a rotational flow.

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For two-dimensional flow, the stream function, , is defined
such that

yy
u= and v = .
y x

Notice that

u v 2yy 2
+ = = 0.
x y xy yx

## Hence the stream function defines an incompressible flow.

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In cylindrical coordinates the stream function is given by
1
Vr = , and V = .
r r

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Velocity Potential (Sect. 2.15, pp. 181-184)

( ) = 0

## for any scalar function, , having continuous first and second

derivatives (verify by expanding).

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If we set

V = ,

then

V = ( ) = ( ) = 0.

true, if V = 0 , there must be some
The corollary is also
function such that V = . Then

u=
,v=
, and w =
.
x y z

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In cylindrical coordinates the velocity potential is defined by

1
=Vr = , V = , Vz .
r r z

## In spherical coordinates the velocity potential is defined by

1 1
=Vr = , V = , Vz .
r r r sin

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The Relationship between the Stream Function and the Velocity
Potential (Sect. 2.15, pp. 184-185)

yy
dy
= dx + dy
x y
=
vdx + udy.

## Along a streamline = constant , or d = 0.

Thus
dy v
= .
dx u

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The differential of is

d
= dx + dy
x y
=
udx vdx.

## Along a line of constant , an equipotential line, d = 0 .

Thus

dy u
= .
dx v

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Hence streamlines and equipotential lines cross at right angles
they are orthogonal.

## Note: A stream function is defined for all two dimensional flows.

A velocity potential can be defined only for irrotational
flows.

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