The aerodynamic forces on bodies of arbitrary shape were investigated under conditions such that the mean free path of the air molecule is greater than the dimensions of the body. Air pressures and friction forces were calculated from gas kinetic theory for surfaces facing both toward and away from the air stream at any angle. Air forces for an atmosphere of definite composition (molecular hydrogen) were calculated as a function of the flight velocity. The results indicate that the friction stresses between the air and the body surface are of the same magnitude as the dynamic pressure and as the air pressures normal to the surface. The application of the general method to the specific cases such as thin airfoils and projectiles leads to high drag coefficients and poor glide ratios even for the theoretically best wing sections.
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