The resistance of spheres in wind tunnels and in air

Bacon, D L Reid, E G

To supplement the standardization tests now in progress at several laboratories, a broad investigation of the resistance of spheres in wind tunnels and free air has been carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The subject has been classed in aerodynamic research, and in consequence there is available a great mass of data from previous investigations. This material was given careful consideration in laying out the research, and explanation of practically all the disagreement between former experiments has resulted. A satisfactory confirmation of Reynolds law has been accomplished, the effect of means of support determined, the range of experiment greatly extended by work in the new variable density wind tunnel, and the effects of turbulence investigated by work in the tunnels and by towing and dropping tests in free air. It is concluded that the erratic nature of most of the previous work is due to support interference and differing turbulence conditions. While the question of support has been investigated thoroughly, a systematic and comprehensive study of the effects of scale and quality of turbulence will be necessary to complete the problem, as this phase was given only general treatment.

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