Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2001). All Rights Reserved.

World of Aerodynamics

The number of aerodynamic systems that can be found is incredibly large. Here we present a short (and by any means incomplete) list of systems that are related with the aerodynamics topics discussed in linked pages.

Single components are basic aerodynamic shapes that are generally studied alone: airfoils and wings are among the most well known. Other components are only used as add-ons to promote specific aerodynamic performances, for example slots, dams, spoilers, fairings, fences, canards, strakes, flaps, vortex generators, splitter plates, tip devices, etc.

Fixed-Wing Aircraft

McDonnell-Douglas C-17 on a demonstration flight. The plane is designed for take off and landing on short runways. High lift systems are required.


Cargo Plane

Helicopter and VSTOL aircraft

The helicopter and some V/STOL aircraft belong to the category of rotary-wing powered aircraft. This is a class of vehicles on its own, with peculiar aerodynamic and control problems. The first helicopters flew many years after the airplanes. Other V/STOL aircraft feature complex lifting systems, such as vertical jets and tilt rotors.


Sikorski S-55

Lighter-than-Air Systems

Lighter-than-air are basically balloons and airships (or dirigibles). The balloons are the first machines that were able to lift from the ground with a man on board. Airships came at a much later time, and they are usually associated with pleasure journeys across the Atlantic or major disasters (or both). Either way, lighter-than-air have captured the fantasy of many, not least writers of fiction…



Aerodynamic Decelerators

Aerodynamic decelerators include parachutes, thrust reversal systems and aerodynamic brakes, although only the first ones (broadly called parachutes) are generally treated in this category. Parachutes have many applications in military operations, deployment of payload, rescue operations and sports, as shown in the photo at right.



Wind Energy Systems

Wind energy systems are among the most advanced clean technologies (though not in the form showed at right). Many wind turbines are now connected to the electric utility networks and produce considerables amounts of energy. The modern variable- pitch horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) are able to work in almost any metereological condition.


Wind Mill

Racing Cars

Indy CART racing car (Michael Andretti driver). Aerodynamics has a strong impact on car performance. Engineers find yet new ways to produce downforce.


Racing Car

Wind Tunnel Testing

Wind tunnel testing is one of the most time consuming, yet effective tools for design and research. Tunnel testing is now integrated with sophisticated CFD methods to save development costs.


Wing Testing

Buildings Aerodynamics

A wide variety of buildings is subject to particularly strong aerodynamic forces. These systems include industrial towers, long suspension bridges, and off-shore platforms. The figure at right shows two industrial towers equipped with spirals in order to reduce the vortex drag. This technical solution serves to promote turbulent separation around a cylinder, thus creating a drag crisis at lower wind speeds.



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Copyright © A. Filippone (1996-2001). All Rights Reserved.