Questions tagged [aerodynamics]

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How were complex analysis methods, like the Joukowsky transform, used in early aircraft design?

The Joukowsky transform is a conformal mapping of a disk to an airfoil shape. The wiki page says that "it was historically used to understand some principles of airfoil design". That's kind ...
Daniel Shapero's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

When and how did people learn of air resistance?

As we know, Newton showed that the celestial bodies in the heaven and the objects on the earth obey the same laws of motion, through his laws of motion and gravitation. However, in order to know this, ...
pdh0710's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers

Where did the false "equal transit-time" explanation of lift originate from?

It's supposedly a "widely circulated" false claim that wings generate lift because of their asymmetric shape, forcing air above to travel faster so that they meet up on the trailing edge at the same ...
eugenhu's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers

Why was F. W. Lanchester's first aeronautical paper rejected by the Physical Society?

Lanchester was arguably the first to somewhat accurately describe the physical mechanism for the generation of lift. In 1894, the Birmingham Natural History and Philosophical Society read his paper, ...
Peter Schilling's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

How or where did the Wright brothers develop the expertise to formulate quadratic equations to design their first propeller?

From What I understand the Wright brother never had university training and although never getting a high school diploma they did attend high school. Looking at the diagrams of their original work ...
Sedumjoy's user avatar
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1 vote
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How much had the rise of drones been connected with the study of birds?

I've read in "How do they fly" by Rudolf Dvořák that the main constraint from inventing some kind of remote-controlled flying machine that could go all directions was the lack of theoretical ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
1 answer

How did scientists know how to build spacecraft before we got them into space?

Surely the scientists working on (un)manned spaceflight understood the concept of the earth having an upper level to its atmosphere, but how were they able to determine what exactly the physics of ...
galois's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers

How far did Nazi Germany get in researching the "sun gun?"

Nazi Germany tried to win World War II by creating "wonder weapons." They actually produced the V-2 Missiles capable of reaching England, and tried, but failed, to develop the atomic bomb. One of the ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer

Why did George Cayley never crack the stability problem?

George Cayley, aka "The Father of Aerodynamics" essentially, invented the field of heavier-than-air aerodynamics and built a number of model and man-carrying gliders, all in the first half of the 19th ...
winwaed's user avatar
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