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mgh

Dimpled aircraft, are there any?

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Just being watching a TV program on the famous Dam Busters raid during the WWII, and how they came to design the bouncing bomb.The conclusion of Barns Wallace tests, found that if a object is dimpled, it would travel faster & straighter.Even though this final design was never used by them, mainly down to time constraints.The example of dimples was well demonstrated with golf balls.A golf ball with no dimples; but exact in every other way to a normal golf ball only went half the distance, 150yards compared to 300 yards.So, my mind asks, are there any aircraft that have being tried with a dimpled design?It seems like there would be compelling benefits to do so, i.e less drag, less fuel, better aerodynamics. I imagine this would only be good for subsonic speeds, long distant aircraft.A Boeing 737 or 747 for example.ThoughtsJohn

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This is better for a ball then a tube with the long axis being pushed through the air. Aircraft airfoils and fuselages you want to have a laminar flow not a turbulent flow. The golfers use the rotation and dimples on the ball to produce lift though. They do this in a different way by giving the ball backspin and producing what is known as the Magnus Effect. When backspinning the new force on top of the ball will be reduced static pressure and an increase of static pressure on the bottom producing a net positive gain in lift increasing the altitude and therefore some more distance.


Chris Miller

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Thanks Chris, I thought I was onto the next worldwide patent there :)Once you mentioned tube though, i got itIt's great how, the mind can throw some weird visions together, & maybe, just maybe come up with something new.I guess in a sense, Barns Wallace, had one of those eureka moments, even though it was a Navy idea to skip cannon shells on the sea, to hole the hulls of enemy wooden ships Ahh well, back to putting my thinking cap on:-wedge John

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Fortunately for the passengers aircraft don't spin like a golf ball!


Gerry Howard

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