Richard Smith's blog

Why Use a Panel Method?

Panel methods can calculate the gas or liquid flow around complex 3D configurations, such as aircraft, with relative ease. However, that ease comes at a price: panel methods are incapable of modeling the viscous effects that are evident in all real-world flows. So why would an engineer use a panel method?

Panel Method Wing-Body CalculationPanel Method Wing-Body Calculation

Navier-Stokes Equations

Readers of Physics World, published by the Institute of Physics, voted Maxwell's equations and Euler's identity the greatest equations of all time. I guarantee if you posed the same question to mechanical engineers the Navier-Stokes equations would figure near the top, probably second to Newton's F = ma.

Competition Spurs Innovation

Competition spurs innovation like nothing else. It appears that a new golden age of engineering and science competition is upon us, with substantial monetary prizes going to the victors.

Formula 1 Aerodynamics

One of the most dramatic examples of an aerodynamic device is a Formula 1 racing car. It wasn't always so, in fact pre-1967 F1 cars made very little use of aerodynamics. The thinking at that time was to optimize cars for straight-line speed, i.e., minimize drag.

1967 Honda Formula 1 Car, pre-wing era1967 Honda Formula 1 Car, pre-wing era

James Bond Submarines for Sale

Uboatworx is selling personal submarines that are straight out of a James Bond movie.

Katz and McBeath Book Reviews

Two standout books, one from Joseph Katz and the other from Simon McBeath, are worthy additions to any racecar aerodynamics enthusiast's library.

Dimples on Golf Balls

Dimples on golf balls and vortex generators on wings are both designed to induce turbulence in boundary layers.

Nature Inspires Aviation Innovation

"Good artists copy, great artists steal"
- Pablo Picasso

If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then surely it's time nature headed to the patent office.

What Happened to Advantage CFD?

"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very, very brightly...Revel in your time."
- Tyrell (Joe Turkel), BladeRunner (1982)

It appears that the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) consultancy to the cars is gone.

F1 Car by Advantage CFDF1 Car by Advantage CFD

Turbulence

Today we understand turbulence well enough so that airplanes don't fall from the sky and liquid fuel igniting inside a rocket engine produces enough thrust to blast payloads into space.

Turbulent SmokeTurbulent Smoke

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