10
$\begingroup$

See Wikipedia:Drag polar and Wikipedia:Polar curve (aviation) for example.

These curves are not on a polar coordinate system. Why are they called polars?

$\endgroup$
13
$\begingroup$

It is an historical name.

The first polars were drawn by Otto Lilienthal in polar coordinates.

Here (sorry, German link) we find an example:

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Just a follow-up out of curiousity... Do you know what the first "incorrect" borrowing of the term was? Ie. When was first time that a curve drawn on a non-polar coordinate system called a "polar"? $\endgroup$ – user2168 May 1 '14 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ @user2168 no, I have no idea. I am sorry. $\endgroup$ – Federico May 1 '14 at 16:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy