# Aerodynamics

A vortex is created by the passage of an aircraft wing, revealed by smoke. Vortices are one of the many phenomena associated to the study of aerodynamics. The equations of aerodynamics show that the vortex is created by the difference in pressure between the upper and lower surface of the wing. At the end of the wing, the lower surface effectively tries to 'reach over' to the low pressure side, creating rotation and the vortex. Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Aerodynamics is a subfield of fluid dynamics and gas dynamics, with much theory shared between them. Aerodynamics is often used synonymously with gas dynamics, with the difference being that gas dynamics applies to all gases. Understanding the motion of air (often called a flow field) around an object enables the calculation of forces and moments acting on the object. Typical properties calculated for a flow field include velocity, pressure, density and temperature as a function of position and time. By defining a control volume around the flow field, equations for the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy can be defined and used to solve for the properties. The use of aerodynamics through mathematical analysis, empirical approximations, wind tunnel experimentation, and computer simulations form the scientific basis for heavier-than-air flight. Aerodynamic problems can be classified according to the flow environment. External aerodynamics is the study of flow around solid objects of various shapes. Evaluating the lift and drag on an airplane or the shock waves that form in front of the nose of a rocket are examples of external aerodynamics. Internal aerodynamics is the study of flow

through passages in solid objects. For instance, internal aerodynamics encompasses the study of the airflow through a jet engine or through an air conditioning pipe. Aerodynamic problems can also be classified according to whether the flow speed is below, near or above the speed of sound. A problem is called subsonic if all the speeds in the problem are less than the speed of sound, transonic if speeds both below and above the speed of sound are present (normally when the characteristic speed is approximately the speed of sound), supersonic when the characteristic flow speed is greater than the speed of sound, and hypersonic when the flow speed is much greater than the speed of sound. Aerodynamicists disagree over the precise definition of hypersonic flow; minimum Mach numbers for hypersonic flow range from 3 to 12. The influence of viscosity in the flow dictates a third classification. Some problems may encounter only very small viscous effects on the solution, in which case viscosity can be considered to be negligible. The approximations to these problems are called inviscid flows. Flows for which viscosity cannot be neglected are called viscous flows.

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1 History o 1.1 Early ideas - ancient times to the 17th century o 1.2 Modern beginnings - 18th to 19th century o 1.3 Practical flight - early 20th century o 1.4 Faster than sound - later 20th century 2 Introductory terminology 3 Continuity assumption 4 Laws of conservation 5 Incompressible aerodynamics o 5.1 Subsonic flow 6 Compressible aerodynamics o 6.1 Transonic flow o 6.2 Supersonic flow o 6.3 Hypersonic flow 7 Associated terminology o 7.1 Boundary layers o 7.2 Turbulence 8 Aerodynamics in other fields 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

with flapping wings similar to a bird. and the velocity raised to the second power. Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei. Newton considered that drag was due to the dimensions of a body. This machine was an ornithopter. In 1505. drag) were recorded by the likes of Aristotle.[3] Although observations of some aerodynamic effects like wind resistance (e. Newton also developed a law for the drag force on a flat plate inclined towards the direction of the fluid flow.ancient times to the 17th century A drawing of a design for a flying machine by Leonardo da Vinci (c.[1] Images and stories of flight have appeared throughout recorded history. Leonardo da Vinci wrote the Codex on the Flight of Birds. with flapping wings similar to a bird's. Using F for the drag force. one of the earliest treatises on aerodynamics. his law was expressed as F = ρSV2sin2(θ) . very little effort was made to develop a rigorous quantitative theory of air flow prior to the 17th century. and θ for the inclination angle. Humans have been harnessing aerodynamic forces for thousands of years with sailboats and windmills.g. [2] such as the legendary story of Icarus and Daedalus. V for the flow velocity. History  Early ideas . ρ for the density.[4] making him one of the first aerodynamicists. These all turned out to be correct for low flow speeds. first presented in his Codex on the Flight of Birds in 1505. He notes for the first time that the center of gravity of a flying bird does not coincide with its center of pressure. Sir Isaac Newton was the first person to develop a theory of air resistance. As part of that theory. the density of the fluid. S for the area of the flat plate. 1488). and he describes the construction of an ornithopter.

Their cross-sections are sometimes very close to that of modern low drag airfoils. resulting in the Navier-Stokes equations. and it may have contributed to a delay in human flight. and velocity.were published by Leonard Euler in 1757. drag.18th to 19th century A drawing of a glider by Sir George Cayley.[5]  Modern beginnings . Drag on a flat plate is closer to being linear with the angle of inclination as opposed to acting quadratically at low angles. in particular Bernoulli's principle. This may appear counterintuitive. and thrust—and the relationship between them. The Euler equations were extended to incorporate the effects of viscosity in the first half of the 1800s.the Euler equations . Among the shapes he investigated were the cross-sections of trout. Sir George Cayley is credited as the first person to identify the four aerodynamic forces of flight—weight. lift. [6] More general equations of fluid flow . The Newton formula can lead one to believe that flight is more difficult than it actually is. which is sometimes used to calculate aerodynamic lift. In 1738 The Dutch-Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli published Hydrodynamica. one of the early attempts at creating an aerodynamic shape. or if the flow speed is supersonic. however. the bodies of fish are shaped to produce very low resistance as they travel through water. density. However. it is correct for a very slender plate when the angle becomes large and flow separation occurs. where he described the fundamental relationship among pressure.Unfortunately.[7][8] Cayley believed that the drag on a flying machine must be counteracted by a means of propulsion in order for level flight to occur. Cayley also looked to nature for aerodynamic shapes with low drag. this equation is incorrect for the calculation of drag in most cases. .

Objects placed in wind tunnel models are almost always smaller than in practice. high-lift aerodynamic wings.Air resistance experiments were carried out by investigators throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. a French aeronautical engineer.[13] To simulate fluid flow. the Royal Aeronautical Society of the United Kingdom. uniform stream of air where the velocity is known.[14] Reynolds also experimented with laminar to turbulent flow transition in 1883.[11] Equations for fluid flow with friction were developed by Claude-Louis Navier[12] and George Gabriel Stokes. Wenham was also a member of the first professional organization dedicated to aeronautics. a more precise way to measure resistance is to place an object within an artificial. The first was the creation of low-drag. Charles Renard. During this time. Towards the end of this time period Gustave Eiffel used his Eiffel Tower to assist in the drop testing of flat plates. with other less scientifically inclined enthusiasts testing various flying machines with little success. the groundwork was laid down for modern day fluid dynamics and aerodynamics. This was achieved with the invention of the dimensionless Reynolds number by Osborne Reynolds. two problems were identified before heavier-than-air flight could be realized. Drag theories were developed by Jean le Rond d'Alembert. [10] and Lord Rayleigh. many experiments involved immersing objects in streams of water or simply dropping them off the top of a tall building. who in doing so constructed the first wind tunnel in 1871.[9] Gustav Kirchhoff. Otto . became the first person to reasonably predict the power needed for sustained flight.[15] Renard and German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz explored the wing loading of birds. By the late 19th century. Wind tunnels were key in the development and validation of the laws of aerodynamics. so a method was needed to relate small scale models to their real-life counterparts. A replica of the Wright Brothers' wind tunnel is on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center. Of course. The first person to experiment in this fashion was Francis Herbert Wenham. In 1889. eventually concluding that humans could not fly under their own power by attaching wings onto their arms. The second problem was how to determine the power needed for sustained flight.

Lanchester. Jakob Ackeret led the initial work on calculating the lift and drag on a supersonic airfoil. Kutta and Zhukovsky went on to develop a two-dimensional wing theory. the personal assistance of Chanute himself.[16]  Practical flight . The ratio of the flow speed to the speed of sound was named the Mach number after Ernst Mach. Frederick W. and research carried out in their own wind tunnel. was the first person to become highly successful with glider flights.  Faster than sound . which is the basis for calculating the speed of sound.[17] Martin Wilhelm Kutta. aerodynamicists realized that the density of air began to change as it came into contact with an object. 1903. The Wright brothers' flight confirmed or disproved a number of aerodynamics theories. During the time of the first flights. Newton was the first to develop a mathematical model for calculating the speed of sound. and Nikolai Zhukovsky independently created theories that connected circulation of a fluid flow to lift. aerodynamicists and aviators disagreed on whether supersonic flight was achievable. Because of the increase in drag approaching Mach 1. Expanding upon the work of Lanchester. . the Wright brothers gained just enough knowledge of aerodynamics to fly the first powered aircraft on December 17. but it was not correct until Pierre-Simon Laplace accounted for the molecular behavior of gases and introduced the heat capacity ratio.later 20th century As aircraft began to travel faster. just in time to beat the efforts of Samuel Pierpont Langley. following the work of Sir George Cayley. William John Macquorn Rankine and Pierre Henri Hugoniot independently developed the theory for flow properties before and after a shock wave.[19] Theodore von Kármán and Hugh Latimer Dryden introduced the term transonic to describe flow speeds around Mach 1 where drag increases rapidly. density and pressure both change. Prandtl. leading to a division of fluid flow into the incompressible and compressible regimes. instructed many students who would play important roles in the development of aerodynamics like Theodore von Kármán and Max Munk. leading the way to modern aerodynamics. Lilienthal believed that thin.early 20th century With the information contained in Chanute's book. curved airfoils would produce high lift and low drag. This first widely-publicised flight led to a more organized effort between aviators and scientists. who was one of the first to investigate the properties of supersonic flow which included Schlieren photography techniques to visualize the changes in density.Lilienthal. Octave Chanute provided a great service to those interested in aerodynamics and flying machines by publishing a book outlining all of the research conducted around the world up to 1893. In compressible aerodynamics. Ludwig Prandtl is credited with developing the mathematics[18] behind thin-airfoil and lifting-line theories as well as work with boundary layers. Newton's drag force theory was finally proved incorrect. a professor at the University of Göttingen.

For example. The sound barrier was broken using the Bell X-1 aircraft twelve years later. Therefore. Computational fluid dynamics was started as an effort to solve for flow properties around complex objects and has rapidly grown to the point where entire aircraft can be designed using a computer. The Cold War fueled an ever evolving line of high performance aircraft. Jakob Ackeret. the knowledge of hypersonic aerodynamics has matured between the 1960s and the present decade. the desire to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of current aircraft and propulsion systems will continue to fuel new research in aerodynamics. Busemann gave a presentation on the need for aircraft with swept wings for high speed flight. Adolf Busemann. With some exceptions. By the time the sound barrier was broken. Ackeret presented a design for a supersonic wind tunnel. Supersonic propulsion was also discussed.A computer generated model of NASA's X-43A hypersonic research vehicle flying at Mach 7 using a computational fluid dynamics code. presented his optimized airfoils for high subsonic speeds which led to some of the high performance American aircraft during World War II. Gaetano Arturo Crocco. working for NACA.  Introductory terminology • • • • Lift Drag Reynolds number Mach number . Along with building a successful scramjet aircraft. Eastman Jacobs. thanks in part to those individuals. Ludwig Prandtl. Geoffrey Ingram Taylor.[20] Participants included Theodore von Kármán. building a scramjet aircraft to fly at hypersonic speeds has seen very limited success. the goals of an aerodynamicist have shifted from understanding the behavior of fluid flow to understanding how to engineer a vehicle to interact appropriately with the fluid flow. while the behavior of hypersonic flow is understood. Eastman Jacobs. much of the subsonic and low supersonic aerodynamics knowledge had matured. On September 30. and Enrico Pistolesi. 1935 an exclusive conference was held in Rome with the topic of high velocity flight and the possibility of breaking the sound barrier.

The continuity assumption becomes less valid as a gas becomes more rarefied. The differential form of the continuity equation is: • Above. Continuity assumption Gases are composed of molecules which collide with one another and solid objects. ρ is the fluid density. it must either exit the volume or change the mass inside the volume. For flow through a tube with one inlet (state 1) and exit (state 2) as shown in the figure in this section. If density and velocity are taken to be well-defined at infinitely small points. the equation also shows that mass is neither created nor destroyed in the control volume. and t is time. Physically. and are assumed to vary continuously from one point to another.[22] Consequently. State 1 is the inlet and state 2 is the exit. In these cases. the rate at which mass enters the volume is equal to the rate at which it leaves the volume. In many basic problems. statistical mechanics is a more valid method of solving the problem than continuous aerodynamics. In fluid dynamics. u is a velocity vector. [21] For a steady state process.  Laws of conservation Control volume schematic of internal flow with one inlet and exit including an axial force. The conservation laws can be written in integral or differential form. Aerodynamics problems are often solved using conservation laws as applied to a fluid continuum. and heat transfer. the first term on the left is then equal to zero. The Knudsen number can be used to guide the choice between statistical mechanics and the continuous formulation of aerodynamics. three conservation principles are used: Continuity: If a certain mass of fluid enters a volume. work. the continuity equation is analogous to Kirchhoff's Current Law in electric circuits. the discrete molecular nature of a gas is ignored. the continuity equation may be written and solved as: .

a control volume analysis yields: Above. assuming it acts with the flow moving in a left-to-right direction. viscosity cannot add energy to the control volume. the shaft work and heat transfer are assumed to be acting on the flow. Conservation of Energy: Although energy can be converted from one form to another. For instance. whereby force is equal to the time derivative of momentum. A is the variable cross-section area of the tube at the inlet and exit. the total energy in a given system remains constant. For incompressible flows. F could be expanded into an expression for the frictional force acting on an internal flow. the force F is placed on the left side of the equation. • For the same figure. T is temperature. Depending on the other properties of the flow. h is enthalpy. The viscous dissipation function governs the rate at which mechanical energy of the flow is converted to heat. and Φ is the viscous dissipation function. Both surface and body forces are accounted for in this equation. Conservation of Momentum: This equation applies Newton's second law of motion to a continuum. The expression on the left side is a material derivative. k is the thermal conductivity of the fluid. The term is always positive since. density remains constant.[23] Again using the figure. the resulting force could be negative which means it acts in the opposite direction as depicted in the figure.Above. the energy equation in terms of the control volume may be written as: Above. They may be positive (to the flow from the . • Above. according to the second law of thermodynamics.

3.surroundings) or negative (to the surroundings from the flow) depending on the problem. The Mach number is used to distinguish between incompressible and compressible flows.3 (about 335 feet (102m) per second or 228 miles (366 km) per hour at 60oF). Compressibility is a description of the amount of change of density in the problem. thus making available to the aerodynamicist a range of quick and easy solutions. incompressible and irrotational. The ideal gas law or another equation of state is often used in conjunction with these equations to form a system to solve for the unknown variables.[24] It is a special case of Subsonic aerodynamics. the flow will begin to compress as it comes into contact with surfaces. There are several branches of subsonic flow but one special case arises when the flow is inviscid. the problem is called a compressible problem. In solving a subsonic problem. A flow can be considered incompressible as long as its speed is low. Above 0. For higher speeds. When the density is allowed to vary.  Incompressible aerodynamics An incompressible flow is characterized by a constant density despite flowing over surfaces or inside ducts. compressibility effects are usually ignored when the Mach number in the flow does not exceed 0.  Subsonic flow Subsonic (or low-speed) aerodynamics is the study of fluid motion which is everywhere much slower than the speed of sound through the fluid or gas. the aerodynamicist may choose to assume that density is constant.  Compressible aerodynamics Main article: Compressible flow . When the effects of compressibility on the solution are small. the problem should be solved by using compressible aerodynamics. one decision to be made by the aerodynamicist is whether to incorporate the effects of compressibility. The problem is then an incompressible low-speed aerodynamics problem. In air. This case is called Potential flow and allows the differential equations used to be a simplified version of the governing equations of fluid dynamics.

the speed of sound in that fluid can be considered the fastest speed that "information" can travel in the flow.3. but it is used because gas flows with a Mach number below that value demonstrate changes in density with respect to the change in pressure of less than 5%. when some parts of the airflow over an aircraft become supersonic. and hypersonic flows are all compressible. when all of the airflow is supersonic. this is the case where the Mach number in part or all of the flow exceeds 0. since sound is in fact an infinitesimal pressure difference propagating through a fluid. Between these speeds some of the airflow is supersonic. In fluid traveling at subsonic speed.8– 1.changes in density must be considered. In front of that object.2.According to the theory of aerodynamics.2). Fluids react to differences in pressure.  Supersonic flow Main article: Supersonic Supersonic aerodynamic problems are those involving flow speeds greater than the speed of sound. Supersonic flow behaves very differently from subsonic flow. a flow is considered to be compressible if its change in density with respect to pressure is non-zero along a streamline. In general. and a higher speed. Transonic. This difference most obviously manifests itself in the case of a fluid striking an object.unlike incompressible flow . that maximum 5% density change occurs at the stagnation point of an object immersed in the gas flow and the density changes around the rest of the object will be significantly lower. It is defined as the range of speeds between the critical Mach number.  Transonic flow Main article: Transonic The term Transonic refers to a range of velocities just below and above the local speed of sound (generally taken as Mach 0. supersonic.3 value is rather arbitrary. Calculating the lift on the Concorde during cruise can be an example of a supersonic aerodynamic problem. the fluid builds up a stagnation pressure as impact with the object brings the moving fluid to rest. Furthermore. this pressure disturbance can propagate upstream. typically near Mach 1. This means that . changing the flow pattern . Therefore. and some is not. pressure changes are how a fluid is "told" to respond to its environment. The Mach .

 Hypersonic flow Main article: Hypersonic In aerodynamics.ahead of the object and giving the impression that the fluid "knows" the object is there and is avoiding it. along with the compressibility effects of high-velocity (see Reynolds number) fluids.in an extremely violent and irreversible fashion called a shock wave. such as boundary layers and turbulence. is the central difference between supersonic and subsonic aerodynamics problems. The incompressible and compressible flow regimes produce many associated phenomena. The presence of shock waves. However. the pressure disturbance cannot propagate upstream. Hypersonic flow is characterized by high temperature flow behind a shock wave. The hypersonic regime is a subset of the supersonic regime. Thus. in a supersonic flow. the term generally came to refer to speeds of Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound) and above.  Associated terminology Areas around an airfoil where Potential flow theory (A). viscous interaction.  Boundary layers . In the 1970s. hypersonic speeds are speeds that are highly supersonic. it is forced to change its properties -.temperature. and chemical dissociation of gas. and Mach number -. pressure. when the fluid finally does strike the object. density. or turbulent wake analysis (C) apply. boundary layer flow theory (B).

The viscosity and fluid friction in the air is approximated as being significant only in this thin layer. stochastic property changes in the flow. turbulence is characterized by chaotic. This includes low momentum diffusion. and in automotive engines where detailed flow patterns strongly affect the performance of the engine. The field of environmental aerodynamics studies the ways atmospheric circulation and flight mechanics affect ecosystems. It is important in the prediction of forces and moments in sailing. to calculate wind loads in the design of large buildings and bridges. It is a significant factor in any type of vehicle design. high momentum convection. create urban microclimates and reduce the effects of urban pollution. Urban aerodynamics seeks to help town planners and designers improve comfort in outdoor spaces. gas piping.  Turbulence Main article: Turbulence In aerodynamics. Structural engineers also use aerodynamics. This principle makes aerodynamics much more tractable mathematically. Flow that is not turbulent is called laminar flow.  See also • • • • List of aerospace engineering topics List of engineering topics Automotive aerodynamics Aeronautics . The aerodynamics of internal passages is important in heating/ventilation. and particularly aeroelasticity. It is used in the design of large components such as hard drive heads. including automobiles.Main article: Boundary layer The concept of a boundary layer is important in many aerodynamic problems.  Aerodynamics in other fields Further information: Automotive aerodynamics Aerodynamics is important in a number of applications other than aerospace engineering. and rapid variation of pressure and velocity in space and time.

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Turbulent Flows.wikipedia. ISBN 0486495051. OCLC 19981526. ISBN 0521598869. J. AIAA.org/wiki/Aerodynamics" View page ratings Rate this page What's this? Trustworthy Objective . (2000). (1989). Stephen B.Fung. OCLC 281992. • Boundary Layers Young. • Rosenhead. OCLC 21227855 17619090 21227855. C. (2002). An Introduction to the Theory of Aeroelasticity (Phoenix ed. The MIT Press. OCLC 55087733. Cambridge University Press. A First Course in Turbulence. Boundary Layers. (1972). Lumley. • Pope. A. Dover Publications. • Turbulence Tennekes. ISBN 0930403576.). Laminar Boundary Layers. ISBN 0486656462. •  External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Aerodynamics • • • • • • • • • • • NASA Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics Aerodynamics for Students Applied Aerodynamics: A Digital Textbook Aerodynamics for Pilots Aerodynamics and Race Car Tuning Aerodynamic Related Projects eFluids Bicycle Aerodynamics Application of Aerodynamics in Formula One (F1) Aerodynamics in Car Racing Aerodynamics of Birds Aerodynamics and dragonfly wings Retrieved from "http://en. L. OCLC 42296280 43540430 67711662 174790280 42296280 43540430 67711662. Y. ISBN 0262200198. H. (1988).. D. L. Dover Publications.

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