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ics Colloquium
Friday, October 12, 2001
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
David F. Anderson [Host: Craig Dukes]
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
"Understanding Flight"
Through the years the explanation of flight has become mired in misconceptions that have become dogma. Wolfgang Langewiesche, the author of "Stick and Rudder" (1944) got it right when he wrote: "Forget Bernoulli's Theorem". A wing develops lift by diverting (from above) a lot of air. This is the same way that a propeller produces thrust and a helicopter produces lift. Newton's three laws and a phenomenon called the Coanda effect explain most of it. With an understanding of the real physics of flight, many things become clear. Inverted flight, symmetric wings, and the flight of insects are obvious. It is easy to understand the power curve, high-speed stalls, and the effect of load and altitude on the power requirements for lift. The contribution of wing aspect ratio on the efficiency of a wing, and the true explanation of ground effect will also be discussed.

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