Basic Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics can be a large area to cover. We are going to easily break it down to simple terms that apply to Infinite Flight.


Forces acting on a Aircraft

  • Gravity The force pulling us to earth
  • Lift Generated by the wings to defy gravity
  • Thrust Generated by the propeller, or turbo fan propelling the aircraft forward
  • Drag The resistance of the air the aircraft is moving thru

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In straight and level unaccelerated flight all four of these forces are in complete balance with one another.


Air density

First let’s talk about air density. There are 2 things that effect this.

  1. Air temperature As air heats up its molecules become excited, and begin moving around. Causing them to break apart from each other. The result is air that doesn’t have as much mass, or density as colder air.

  2. Altitude _The same principle applies as with temperature. Except the force creating the lack of molecules is height in the atmosphere instead of heat. As we climb the air becomes thinner, and thinner with less mass to take up the space in the atmosphere.

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This is why as we climb our airspeed drastically decreases, and why it takes us longer to take off in the summer. This is also where we get turbulence when we pass thru unstable air.


Lift & AoA

How lift is generated
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As the air hits the leading edge its separated to the upper and lower parts of the wing. The upper part of the wing is cambered which causes the air to travel further on the top then the bottom. This causes the air to speed up thus creating a low pressure above the wing. In turn creating lift, and eventually over coming gravity with speed.

Angle of attack AoA

Angle of attack is the relation of the wing cord line to the relative wind direction. Not to be confused with pitch attitude

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As we approach a stall and the AoA is increased our lift is greatly reduced

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Notice the unstable air toward the trailing edge

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Then leading to a stall where sufficient lift is no longer created.


That concludes this brief tutorial on aircraft aerodynamics. Hopefully you gained a bit more understanding of the aerodynamics behind flight, and why certain things happen. As always if you have any questions ask in the comments below. ✌️

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I was at the California Science Center yesterday and they had this interactive exhibit where you put these foam, flap-like objects on your arms, and they blow a lot of wind at you and you have to try to keep your arms up and stable. I wasn’t quite sure how that simulated aerodynamics if it even did at all, but looking towards the end of your post, I guess it did! Very informative post, great job!

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Nicely done Brandon. Great info here.

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Great job Brandon! Bookmarked! Keep making these great tutorials!

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@Brandon_Sandstrom. MaxSez; I don’t care what they say!
“You da Man Bran”… another one for the ages not the aged…
Regards…

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Bookmarked! Thanks Again :)

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