flow separation


guess who marathoned legion of superheroes all day instead of doing any work

i wonder which character is still my favourite after all these years. it couldn’t possibly be the tiny battle pod robot who’s as thirsty for clark kent as pearl is for rose quartz could it

Interest in micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs) has proliferated in the last decade. But making these aircraft fly is more complicated than simply shrinking airplane designs. At smaller sizes and lower speeds, an airplane’s Reynolds number is smaller, too, and it behaves aerodynamically differently. The photo above shows the upper surface of a low Reynolds number airfoil that’s been treated with oil for flow visualization. The flow in the photo is from left to right. On the left side, the air has flowed in a smooth and laminar fashion over the first 35% of the wing, as seen from the long streaks of oil. In the middle, though, the oil is speckled, which indicates that air hasn’t been flowing over it–the flow has separated from the surface, leaving a bubble of slowly recirculating air next to the airfoil. Further to the right, about 65% of the way down the wing, the flow has reattached to the airfoil, driving the oil to either side and creating the dark line seen in the image. Such flow separation and reattachment is common for airfoils at these scales, and the loss of lift (and of control) this sudden change can cause is a major challenge for MAV designers. (Image credit: M. Selig et al.)

I don't know what made me change my decision, but it saved my life.

So, I’ve been lurking on this sub for some time, and decided to share my experience, while not so frightening, it still gives me chills almost a decade after it happened. This is my first ever post on reddit, and english is not my first language, so bear with me.

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This flow visualization of a pitching wind turbine blade demonstrates why lift and drag can change so drastically with angle of attack. When the angle the blade makes with the freestream is small, flow stays attached around the top and bottom surfaces of the blade. At large (positive or negative) angles of attack, the flow separates from the turbine blade, beginning at the trailing edge and moving forward as the angle of attack increases. The separated flow appears as a region of recirculation and turbulence. This is the same mechanism responsible for stall in aircraft. (Submitted by Bobby E)