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The mathematical theory of flight
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis, NA.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4256-0463
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis, NA.
2009 (English)In: Normat, ISSN 0801-3500, Vol. 57, 145-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We show by computational solution of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations with friction force boundary conditions, that the classical inviscid circulation theory by Kutta-Zhukovsky for lift of a wing and laminar viscous boundary layer theory by Prandtl for drag, which have dominated 20th century flight mechanics, do not correctly describe the real turbulent airflow around a wing. We show that lift and drag essentially originate from a turbulent wake of counter-rotating rolls of low-pressure streamwise vorticity generated by a certain instability mechanism of potential flow at rear separation. The new theory opens the possibility of computational prediction of flight characteristics of an airplane using millions of meshpoints without resolving thin boundary layers, instead of the imposssible quadrillions required according to state-of-the-art for boundary layer resolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 57, 145-169 p.
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58710OAI: diva2:473830
QC 20120116Available from: 2012-01-07 Created: 2012-01-07 Last updated: 2012-01-16Bibliographically approved

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