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Homework Help: Lift force on roof of car

  1. Mar 25, 2012 #1
    1. What is the lift force on the roof of your car that has an area of 3.9m^2 if you are driving 100km/hr? use 1.17kg/m^3 for density of air.

    im not even sure where to start. have never done this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2012 #2


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    There would have to be something deflecting air away from a flat roof in order to produce lift. Speed alone isn't going to create lift on a flat plate parallel to the relative wind. Bernoulli principle doesn't apply here. You could place a flush mounted static port in a flat roof to measure pressure of the moving air outside and it would indicate the same ambient pressure if the car was stopped or moving (as long as speeds are reasonably sub-sonic).

    For a real car, the windshield deflects the air away from the roof, and the overall shape of most cars is similar to a common wing and tends to produce some lift. You'd have to know the profile shape of the car, similar to knowing the profile of an airfoil, in order to determine the lift versus speed.
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