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6 Questions To See How Much You Know About Aerodynamics

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  1. 1) As airspeed increases, ______ drag increases and ______ drag decreases.

    For a given altitude, with an increase in airspeed, you are able to create the same amount of lift at a lower angle of attack. This reduces induced drag, but inevitability increases parasite drag. 

    For a given altitude, with an increase in airspeed, you are able to create the same amount of lift at a lower angle of attack. This reduces induced drag, but inevitability increases parasite drag. 

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  2. 2) Which two of the following are related to how a wing produces lift?

    The real details of how an object generates lift are very complex and do not lend themselves to simplification. For a gas, we have to simultaneously conserve the mass, momentum, and energy in the flow. Newton's laws of motion are statements concerning the conservation of momentum. Bernoulli's equation is derived by considering conservation of energy. So both of these equations are satisfied in the generation of lift; both are correct. The conservation of mass introduces a lot of complexity into the analysis and understanding of aerodynamic problems. For example, from the conservation of mass, a change in the velocity of a gas in one direction results in a change in the velocity of the gas in a direction perpendicular to the original change. This is very different from the motion of solids, on which we base most of our experiences in physics. The simultaneous conservation of mass, momentum, and energy of a fluid (while neglecting the effects of air viscosity) are called the Euler Equations after Leonard Euler. Euler was a student of Johann Bernoulli, Daniel's father, and for a time had worked with Daniel Bernoulli in St. Petersburg. If we include the effects of viscosity, we have the Navier-Stokes Equations which are named after two independent researchers in France and in England. To truly understand the details of the generation of lift, one has to have a good working knowledge of the Euler Equations. - NASA

    The real details of how an object generates lift are very complex and do not lend themselves to simplification. For a gas, we have to simultaneously conserve the mass, momentum, and energy in the flow. Newton's laws of motion are statements concerning the conservation of momentum. Bernoulli's equation is derived by considering conservation of energy. So both of these equations are satisfied in the generation of lift; both are correct. The conservation of mass introduces a lot of complexity into the analysis and understanding of aerodynamic problems. For example, from the conservation of mass, a change in the velocity of a gas in one direction results in a change in the velocity of the gas in a direction perpendicular to the original change. This is very different from the motion of solids, on which we base most of our experiences in physics. The simultaneous conservation of mass, momentum, and energy of a fluid (while neglecting the effects of air viscosity) are called the Euler Equations after Leonard Euler. Euler was a student of Johann Bernoulli, Daniel's father, and for a time had worked with Daniel Bernoulli in St. Petersburg. If we include the effects of viscosity, we have the Navier-Stokes Equations which are named after two independent researchers in France and in England. To truly understand the details of the generation of lift, one has to have a good working knowledge of the Euler Equations. - NASA

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  3. 3) Which statement about ground effect is incorrect?

    Because the average relative wind acts more in-line with the airfoil, there is a decrease in the retarding force (induced drag), which causes the lift vector to act more vertically. 

    Because the average relative wind acts more in-line with the airfoil, there is a decrease in the retarding force (induced drag), which causes the lift vector to act more vertically. 

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  4. 4) Wake turbulence is most pronounced during which operations...

    All of these factors combined create the worst case scenario when referring to the severity of wake turbulence. When you combine weight with slow airspeed, the required angle of attack to maintain altitude without the use of flaps is relatively high. Because of this, induced drag is at its greatest which produces the strongest wake turbulence. 

    All of these factors combined create the worst case scenario when referring to the severity of wake turbulence. When you combine weight with slow airspeed, the required angle of attack to maintain altitude without the use of flaps is relatively high. Because of this, induced drag is at its greatest which produces the strongest wake turbulence. 

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  5. 5) Dihedral increases...

    Dihedral (wing tips are higher than the wing root) is lateral stability, which is stability about the longitudinal or roll axis. As a gust causes the aircraft to roll, the dihedral causes the aircraft to slip into the bank. As the aircraft slips, is moves the lowered wing faster through the air creating more lift due to in increase in AOA. This increase in lift will roll the aircraft back to straight and level flight. 

    Dihedral (wing tips are higher than the wing root) is lateral stability, which is stability about the longitudinal or roll axis. As a gust causes the aircraft to roll, the dihedral causes the aircraft to slip into the bank. As the aircraft slips, is moves the lowered wing faster through the air creating more lift due to in increase in AOA. This increase in lift will roll the aircraft back to straight and level flight. 

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  6. 6) Which two flap designs allows high pressure air from underneath the airfoil to flow over on the top of the flap?

    Both Fowler and Slotted flaps allow high pressure air from under the airfoil to race over the top of the flap section delaying airflow separation. 

    Both Fowler and Slotted flaps allow high pressure air from under the airfoil to race over the top of the flap section delaying airflow separation. 

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You know quite a bit about aerodynamics.

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, Certified Flight Instructor and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. He has been flying since 16 years old, and is pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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