On the resistance of the air at high speeds and on the automatic rotation of projectiles

D. Riabouchinski
Apr 1921

Here, the laws governing the flow of a compressible fluid through an opening in a thin wall are applied to the resistance of the air at high speeds, especially as applied to the automatic rotation of projectiles. The instability which we observe in projectiles shot into the air without being given a moment of rotation about their axis of symmetry, or without stabilizing planes, is a phenomenon of automatic rotation. It is noted that we can prevent this phenomenon of automatic rotation by bringing the center of gravity sufficiently near one end, or by fitting the projectile with stabilizing planes or a tail. The automatic rotation of projectiles is due to the suction produced by the systematic formation of vortices behind the extremity of the projectile moving with the wind.

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