What is Aerodynamics?
Aerodynamics is the study of the properties of moving air and the interaction between the air and solid bodies moving through it. Any object like an airplane, the rocket that moves through air reacts to aerodynamics. Colleges that teach about aviation provide some of the online aviation degree programs where students can learn in depth about aerodynamics.
Types of Aerodynamics
There are two types of Aerodynamics namely External Aerodynamics and Internal Aerodynamics.
- External Aerodynamics: It is the study of how air flows around the solid objects and how the solid object moves through the air.
- Internal Aerodynamics: It is the study of how air passes through the passages of the solid objects
There are primarily four forces:
Weight, Lift, Thrust Drag. The way these forces act together during a flight determines how the aircraft moves through the air.
Weight: Force of gravity is called weight. It acts towards the center of earth i.e. in the downward direction. In aircraft, the total mass includes the weight of the aircraft in addition to passenger’s weight, the cargo, crew, baggage. This weight which acts downward should be counteracted with the lift which helps the aircraft achieve flight.
Lift: It is the force which holds the object in the air is. It is generally the upward push force. In airplanes, the wings are designed in such a way that it acts as the lifts. Airplanes wings are curved on the top and flat below which makes the wind to flow fast on the top and this helps in achieving the lift for an airplane. Most of the online Design degrees help students to learn the way the wings are designed and work in an airplane. In helicopters, the blades act as a lift and this helps helicopters to achieve the flight. In hot air balloons lift is created because the hot air is lighter than the air surrounding it and thus helps the balloon fly.
Drag: This force is used to pull back and is the opposing force. When an airplane moves in the air, the air molecules are pushes from the path of the airplane and due to the resistance of the air molecules, drag is created. This pushes the object back and to make the object move another force called thrust is required.
Thrust: This force helps the object to push counteracting the drag force which the object experience during the flight. In airplanes, thrust is created through engines and propellants which help the aircraft to move forward.
So for the functioning of a flight, all these forces should act accordingly.
- To make the airplane land the amount of lift should be less than the amount of weight.
- To make the airplane fly the amount of lift should be greater than the amount of weight
- To make the airplane move forward the amount of drag should be less than the amount of thrust.
- To make the airplane move slower the amount of thrust should be less than the amount of drag
In conclusion, the study of Aerodynamics helped us to learn the science behind the art of flying. It helped us to build things which can fly such as helicopters, airplanes, rockets, space crafts and much more. The study in the field of aerodynamics is still evolving and new designs in the wings of aircraft or the shape of the body are being experimented so that air travel could be more comfortable and safer. Progressions in the field of aerodynamics are being done so that it could be used outside the aviation industry and be useful in developing many other applications. The study about aerodynamics helped humans to make air travel possible.