Why is Projected Area constant when varying AoA?

  • #1
For a streamlined and bluff bodies, why is it standard to have the projected area be a fixed reference area, but yet the angles of attack (AoA) vary? If one were to vary the AoA then the projected area would technically change.

The following link discusses that it is a convention to avoid confusion. https://www.researchgate.net/post/W...ift_coefficients_in_case_of_elliptic_cylinder

My attempt included drawing it up and then projecting it with an arbitrary AoA.
But the projected areas never reduced down to the convention. I appreciate you talking the time to to provide any guidance! Thank you
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
12
5
Hi @MD LAT 1492 , from reading the URL you shared, it appears that the confusion comes from this point: While the drag and coefficient of drag (Cd) of the body will vary with AoA, the Reference Area will not. The responses seem to indicate that you can either vary the projected area, or the drag coefficient, as you change your AoA.

Quoting Aljoscha Sander from the forum. you shared:

"However, If you want to compare angles of attack (for instance in a polar diagram with drag and lift coefficients) length scale and projected area should stay constant at all times."

On the other side of the same coin, for a given body, you could cite the change in projected area and length scale at each drag coefficient. This, would be incredibly confusing, and I believe that's what Sarat C. Praharaj was getting at when he mentioned:

"...any reference area is good so long as you are consistent. Don't vary that with angle of attack, because you will confuse yourself and others by doing that. Just use the major axis for the length scale."

I believe that hey are choosing to use a fixed area and length as reference, to find Cd/Cl at varying AoAs, by convention.

Cheers!
 
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