TOPIC: SUGGESTING INNOVATIVE WAYS TO DETERMINE OPTIMUM AERODYNAMIC/ HYDRODYNAMIC SHAPE OF VEHICLES MOVING THROUGH AIR/WATER
EXTRACT: USE OF ICE BLOCKS TO DETERMINE OPTIMUM STREAMLINED SHAPE OF DYNAMIC BODIES MOVING THROUGH AIR OR WATER.
INTRODUCTION: It is not always a good idea to imitate nature for shape of aerial vehicles (imitating birds) and aquatic vehicles (imitating piscine creatures), because the shapes of such creatures are compromises between method, shape and placement of their power generation system, propulsion system, medium of travel and speed requirements.
Power generation systems, propulsion systems and speed ranges of an airplane or a ship or a submarine are different from similar systems and requirements of a bird or a fish.
A bird or a fish propels itself by movement of wings or whole body, whereas modern planes, ships, submarines propel themselves by rotary screw propellers or jet propellers assisted by rotary fans for air supply.
Speed requirements of man made vehicles can be drastically different from that of birds or fish.
SUGGESTION: It is suggested to place a deep frozen block of ice- in the form of a suitably shaped rectangular prism – in a wind tunnel (in connection with aircraft design), semi submerged in water canal (in connection with ship design), or fully submerged in a water tunnel/ canal (in connection with submarine design.
Water or air - having temperature range from 10C to room temperature- should be allowed to flow along the length of this rectangular prism shaped frozen block of ice.
Ice block will begin melting at the edges, and acquire a shape of minimal resistance.
Resistance can be measured in various ways, including use of springs.
Changes in shape can be observed and noted down.
ALTERNATIVELY: A scaled down model of vehicle can be entombed in rectangular prism of ice, then moved in its medium of travel, by using existing modes of propulsion, at design speed, and changes in shape can be observed from time to time, to choose optimum suitable shape.
For example, a car’s body can be frozen in rectangular prism of ice, leaving the wheels free to move, then driven on test road at design speed, till such time that ice erodes to a shape of minimum resistance.
This alternative method is more likely to be suitable for on-road vehicles, ships and submarines.
Use of this method for aircraft will require great care.