Phenomena

F-18 Flow Viz

Water tunnels are useful tools for determining aerodynamic characteristics of aircraft, such as this F-18 model placed in the NASA Dryden Flow Visualization Facility. By matching the Reynolds number of the model in the water tunnel to that of the full-scale aircraft in air, engineers can observe flow around the aircraft inside the laboratory. This similarity of flows is a powerful design tool. Here dye introduced along the nose, wings, and fuselage traces streamlines around the F-18, revealing areas of turbulence at different flight conditions.

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