Dimple power. (Letters).
DANFORD ANDERSON, GREEN BAY, WIS.
Dimples on spinning golf balls reduce air resistance and increase lift by creating turbulence in the air flowing past the balls. In principle, dimples would also reduce drag for aircraft, says Anubhav Datta of the University of Maryland in College Park. However, since neither wings nor helicopter blades spin the way golf balls do, dimples could also wipe out the lift produced by those aircraft parts. So aircraft designers reduce drag, without compromising lift, by precisely placing a few small bumps or dips, called boundary-layer trips, on wings and blades. The Mars helicopter blades that Datta and his colleagues designed include such trips.--P. WEISS
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|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jul 20, 2002|
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