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Aerodynamics, An intro«

Aerodynamics is one of the three pillars of aerospace engineering, other two being Structures and Propulsion. However it has many applications in other fields of engineering. Its Importance can never be over emphasized; a typical example is first successful powered flight of 1903 which owes its success to optimized Aerodynamics of Wright Flyer. More recent example is unique aerodynamic design of Re-entry vehicles (Space Shuttles and ICBM etc) which solved the issue of overheating of outer surface of craft at high speeds. Aerodynamics falls under the study of fluid dynamics and there are many standard definitions given by Gurus of Aerodynamics (me skipping them, they are 2too boring, apologies to Prandtl) Basically it is "Study of air flow & its interaction with bodies & the CHEMISTRY between them" (Think it like love chemistry ;). So where do we need Aerodynamics, well well , to get flow properties inside jet engines, to calculate Aerodynamic heating of a spacecraft ,to design wind mills, or simply to get aerodynamic forces & moments on aircraft, we gona need this baby. And these are just few examples there are many more practical application of Aerodynamics. There are two main branches of Aerodynamics 1) Internal Aerodynamics 2) External Aerodynamics As the names explain themselves, internal Aerodynamics is related to flow in ducts and in external Aerodynamics we are interested in flow going away from bodies (like force and moment predictions on objects etc) Like most branches of science Aerodynamics uses mathematical models & equations to describe the real physical world so you better be well familiar with Alpha, Beta Delta and gamma stuff before you learn Aerodynamics :D

One of most famous equation in Aerodynamics is Navier-Stokes equation which is believed to have the answer to all the flow problems (may it be vortices, turbulence etc) and well in my opinion they should be, because these two "Cheetaz"(Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes) put all the differentials known to human kind in this one equation :D But the more fun part about this equation is that it is yet to be solved analytically.(They have even put a prize for solving these) So kudos to Navier and Stokes who did their best to make this thing un-solvable ;D but still our geek brothers at mathematics department have come up with certain pretty good solutions ,most of which are numerical. So if you take Navier-Stokes and some Math¶s Geniuses and some help from our TECH guys at Intel and mix them "Voila" ,you have yourself a brand-new branch ,Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD). It has been proven very reliable in predicting flow behaviors and all the stuff which took hours in wind tunnels. All you have to do is 1) Draw the picture (i.e. Model the body and domain) 2)Put really good boundary condition (good means CORRECT here) and 3)Let the Processor thingy handle the Mathematical equations which depict the Navier-stokes. (Trust me it¶s not as easy as it sounds: p) So here is the Bottom line and my personal belief too.

AERODYNAMICS: "IT GIVES YOU WINGS"
Well some people think that RedBull does the trick too but i have my reservations ;D

Note:
(Most material in this Article is extracted from JHON D ANDERSON'S books ,One of best writers on Aerodynamics )