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Aerodynamics: Some Fundamental Principles and Equations

(Ch. 2)

Introduction:

This chapter covers a great deal of material from your


previous fluid mechanics courses.

We will not be examining several sections of this chapter


because of that.

However, you are reminded that you are responsible for


knowing the material and that it is your responsibility to
review the material if you are having difficulty.

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Circulation (Sect. 2.13, pp 174-177)

Circulation is of fundamental importance in calculating


aerodynamic lift.

Consider the closed curve C as shown below

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The definition of circulation is formally given as
d d

=
C
V d s.

Mathematically, the direction of the path integral is taken as


positive if we traverse the curve in the counter-clockwise
direction.
For reasons that we will learn later, it is more convenient to
traverse the curve in the clockwise direction hence the
negative sign.
Stokes theorem gives us
d d d d

=
C
( )
V d s = V d S ,
S

where S is the surface bounded by C.

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The surface and defining quantities are shown below

The curl of the velocity field is a defined quantity in fluid


mechanics and aerodynamics and is called the vorticity, .

The
flow is defined as irrotational if the circulation is zero, or
= 0 everywhere.
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In the limit of a vanishingly small area we have
d d d d
( ) ( )
d = V d S = V n ds.

Hence

d d d
n = .
ds

This allows us to interpret the negative of the normal


component of vorticity as the circulation per unit area.

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Ideal Inviscid Flow and the Stream Function (Sect. 2.14, pp. 177-
181)

In the early development of hydrodynamics a fluid was


considered ideal if it was incompressible and inviscid, i.e.
= const. (or V = 0 ) and = 0 (or = 0 ).

This is never true for a real fluid as 0 . However, it is a


good approximation in some cases ( Re for streamline
bodies).

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Setting = 0 and = constant in the Navier-Stokes
equations results in the Euler equations given by

DV P
= G
Dt

where G is the gravitational acceleration.

For an ideal (incompressible, inviscid) flow we have Eulers


equation, in vector form
P
( )
V V = gh +


for steady flow.

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Notice that

(
V V =)1
2
( )
V V V V ,

which can be seen by expanding both the left and right hand
sides in components.

Thus

P
1
( )
V V V V = gh + .

2

Now if the flow is irrotational ( V = 0 ) we have

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V V P
+ gh + =
0.
2

This must be true everywhere hence

V2 P
+ gh + =constant.
2

This is identical to Bernoullis equation; except that we have


removed the restriction that we must remain on a streamline
is lifted!

The Bernoulli constant is the same on all streamlines for an


ideal, irrotational flow, which is not true for a rotational flow.

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For two-dimensional flow, the stream function, , is defined
such that

yy
u= and v = .
y x

Notice that

u v 2yy 2
+ = = 0.
x y xy yx

Hence the stream function defines an incompressible flow.

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In cylindrical coordinates the stream function is given by
1
Vr = , and V = .
r r

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Velocity Potential (Sect. 2.15, pp. 181-184)

From vector calculus we have

( ) = 0

for any scalar function, , having continuous first and second


derivatives (verify by expanding).

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If we set

V = ,

then

V = ( ) = ( ) = 0.

true, if V = 0 , there must be some
The corollary is also
function such that V = . Then


u=
,v=
, and w =
.
x y z

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In cylindrical coordinates the velocity potential is defined by

1
=Vr = , V = , Vz .
r r z

In spherical coordinates the velocity potential is defined by

1 1
=Vr = , V = , Vz .
r r r sin

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The Relationship between the Stream Function and the Velocity
Potential (Sect. 2.15, pp. 184-185)

Notice that the differential of is


yy
dy
= dx + dy
x y
=
vdx + udy.

Along a streamline = constant , or d = 0.

Thus
dy v
= .
dx u

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The differential of is


d
= dx + dy
x y
=
udx vdx.

Along a line of constant , an equipotential line, d = 0 .


Thus

dy u
= .
dx v

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Hence streamlines and equipotential lines cross at right angles
they are orthogonal.

Note: A stream function is defined for all two dimensional flows.


A velocity potential can be defined only for irrotational
flows.

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