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Aerodynamics and Propulsion Principles - Research Paper Example

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Any object moving inside or through a fluid will experience a force. This force may be along the direction of the motion or perpendicular or at a certain angle to the motion of that object inside the fluid. If the direction is only along the motion, it is called drag. Perpendicular force is generally termed as lift. …
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Aerodynamics and Propulsion Principles
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Download file to see previous pages In summary, the fluid density, viscosity, speed, the smoothness of the surface and shape, all contribute to the lift coefficient and determine the lift force. Taking the example of an aircraft and how changes in some of these parameters affect the lift force. A lower temperature would mean higher density and hence, greater the lift force since the lift is directly proportional to the density of the fluid, in this case, air. However, since air has a mass which is influenced by the gravity of earth, its density closer to the surface is higher and decreases with increasing altitude. As the aircraft moves up in the atmosphere, this factor dominates over the effect of lower temperature and the resulting density is lower and results in smaller lift force. As mentioned before, lift is generated for non-symmetrical objects or symmetric objects kept at an angle in a fluid flow field. The angle between the object and fluid motion is called angle of attack. Symmetric aerofoil and other objects can generate lift by changing the angle of attack. An example of this is during takeoff of an aircraft, where the aircraft lifts its nose up, hence increasing the angle of attack, which greatly increases the lift force generated allowing it to quickly climb and gain altitude (Munson, Young and Okiishi). Drag generally opposes motion and slows down objects moving inside a fluid, or slows down the speed of a fluid moving past a fixed object. Hence, aircrafts and cars are designed to minimize drag and help improve fuel efficiency. Just like the lift force, the drag force and drag coefficient can be written as: Thus, in general, as an object goes fast and faster, the drag force is exponentially likely to...
Aerodynamics and Propulsion Principles

Physically, there are two types of drag forces. The first is the due to shearing stresses creating near the interface of the fluid and solid due to viscous effects of the fluid. When a fluid particle comes into contact with the surface of the ball, it sticks to it, and causes a slowing down effect on the fluid participles around it. This is called the boundary layer phenomenon, where the particle at the interface is stationary while particles infinitely away from the interface are moving at the maximum fluid velocity. Hence, stress is created inside the fluid within the boundary layer just close to the surface causing drag. The second kind of drag is due to fluid separation from the solid surface. This happens when a fluid streamline moves around an object, like a ball, does not have enough energy to move all the way along to the opposite end of the ball and hence separates, creating a much lower pressure at the backside of the object than at the front, creating pressure drag.

As technology has become more advanced, new stronger and lighter materials have been introduced which have allowed aircraft to become lighter and requiring less lift per volume. Thus, they can now fly at higher altitudes, which has reduced the drag force due to thinner atmosphere and increased fuel efficiency. All this has resulted in more air-travel and hence modernization of air-travel. Designers have focused on larger and more economical aircraft, flying just beneath the speed of sound than higher speeds which require much power due to increased drag and flying at lower altitude where the air is much thicker to provide more thrust. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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