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Does anyone do this type of Aerospace Research?

  1. Aug 20, 2010 #1

    I currently hold a M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Mechanical engineering (note the M.S. had an emphasis in controls and dynamics). I got my M.S. by only taking grad courses and have done no research or advanced project, I graduated last year and have been working in a terribly boring engineering job ever since.

    Lately I've be thinking about going back to grad school but I want to have a clear research focus in mind before I consider anything else.

    One thing I've always been interested in is the physics of flight, particularly the phenomenon that cause lift and drag on a wing. I've always felt the way they taught fluid dynamics was a little bit of a cop-out though, I mean the build a cool equation and then say, "but alas it's is not analytically solvable, so here's how to get a numerical solution". So you can always start with airfoil and plug it into a program to figure out it's forces more or less.

    I'm wondering is there any research related to doing the reverse, to starting with air flow and how you want the forces to be and calculating the shape of the airfoil? Or finding an analytical relationship between the shape of a wing and it's shape factors Cl and Cd? Anyways is this just a pipe dream or does anyone know of any universities/professors/labs that to research on this kind of thing?

    Thank you for your time
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2010 #2


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    There has been a lot of research on wing and aircraft design over the last century. There are many reports from NACA (1915-1958), then NASA (1958-present).


    I would recommend browsing the AIAA website - www.aiaa.org

    NASA Langley - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/aeronautics/index.html

    NASA Dryden - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/research/index.html

    Then again, this might be of interest - http://www.claymath.org/millennium/Navier-Stokes_Equations/ [Broken]
    The key is to understand a set of coupled non-linear PDEs.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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