Linked Questions

39
votes
2answers
22k views

Why/when is the blunt nose better?

Most large aircraft and some fighters have blunt, rounded nose cone. OTOH many fighters (that don't use the nose for air intake) and notably the two supersonic airliners (Concorde, TU-144) have the ...
25
votes
2answers
6k views

How do insects decrease aircraft performance?

Is it true that insects hitting the fuselage could decrease aircraft performance and increase fuel consumption? Insects are small in mass. I think even a large amount of them accumulate on the ...
19
votes
3answers
17k views

What dictates the aspect ratio of an aircraft's wing?

When designing an aircraft, there has to be a decision as to the aspect ratio of a wing. It's been said that having a higher aspect wing will reduce drag for the same wing area, however most of the ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Is a golf ball surface a good idea for wings or fuselage?

I searched for an infamous golf ball question on this site but did not find any, so I guess it's time for one. Would a dimpled surface like a golf ball somehow improve the aerodynamics of an airplane?...
18
votes
2answers
19k views

How does chord length affect wing design?

In comments on the answer to a question about transonic speeds and control surfaces I came across this comment and I'm having a hard time understanding it. If you increase the chord, lift goes up ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the “area rule”?

The "area rule" states that the supersonic drag on an aircraft is related to the total area on part of the aircraft. What is the exact definition of the rule? Why does this happen?
9
votes
2answers
42k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a delta wing compared to a swept wing?

What advantage does a delta wing have over a swept wing with high AR for supersonic flight? And what disadvantage does a delta wing have over a swept wing with high AR for transonic flight? The ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How is the induced drag calculated for a wing with elliptical planform?

How is the induced drag calculated for a wing with elliptical planform ? Is this wing shape the most efficient ?
8
votes
1answer
7k views

How does Reynolds Number affect skin friction drag?

I'm an aerospace engineering student, and I'm worried about efficiency as it relates to high and low Reynolds numbers. I don't understand which is more helpful for a aircraft. On a website I read ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a supersonic plane use a subsonic wing if the nosecone shock produces subsonic airflow around the wing?

A supersonic plane will produce shock waves off the nose cone, as seen below: These oblique shocks reduce the speed of the air that the wing experiences. If the plane is at a low enough Mach number, ...
11
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the relation between an airplane's altitude and the drag it is experiencing?

The Reynolds-Number $Re$ is defined as $Re = \frac{c \cdot L \cdot \rho}{\mu} = \frac{c \cdot L}{\nu}$, with the velocity $c~\left[ \frac{m}{s} \right]$, the reference length $L~\left[ m \right]$, ...
2
votes
2answers
677 views

Why do supersonic planes fly higher than subsonic airliners? [duplicate]

I saw on wiki that a boeing 737 flys at about 38,000ft and a Concorde flys at 60,000ft. What made it possible, and advantageous, for Concorde to fly so much higher?