Name: wildman jackson
Date: Around 1993
What exactly is a boundary layer, and what relationship does it
have to planes?
When a solid body moves through a fluid such as air, there is a
thin layer next to the surface of the body where the fluid moves with the
body. There is no slip of the fluid with respect to the body in this thin
layer. At greater distances from the surface, there is some slip, and the
fluid is dragged along at some speed between that of the body and the
stationary mass of fluid. This layer, in which the fluid is being dragged by
the body, is the boundary layer. The behavior of this boundary layer is very
important in determining such things as the drag force on the body. At high
speeds, such as with an airplane, the drag force can be very large.
Understanding what the boundary layer is doing can help to reduce this force.
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Update: June 2012