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Wednesday, 10 November 2010


How to exploit air flow

Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Understanding the motion of air (often called a flow field) around an object enables the calculation of forces and moments acting on the object. A typical propertie calculated for a flow field is speed.

Aerodynamic studies are applied in various disciplines, especially to design vehicles that have to be very fast, such as airplanes, rockets, racing cars but also "ordinary" cars: since aerodynamic, a car reduces the resistance of air and, as a consequence, consumes less fuel.

Air flow around three objects: spherical bodies are subject to an average resistance, the shape of an airplane wing minimizes the air resistance, and the resistance is high for bodies with large surfaces perpendicular to the flow.

In racing cars aerodynamics plays a very important role; mechanicians study very carefully how to design the perfect shape to let the driver go faster.

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