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Friday, October 12, 2001
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
David F. Anderson
[Host: Craig Dukes]
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
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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