DeLaurier, James D. Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Boundary-layer flow
- Laminar separation bubble
- Low-speed flight
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
It might be thought that low-speed small-scale aircraft are simply smaller versions of full-scale designs and that textbook aerodynamics apply to them. However, low-speed aircraft have very special lift and drag characteristics that distinguish them from their higher-speed counterparts. To a large measure, this is determined by a key nondimensional parameter called the Reynolds number (Re). It was derived from water-pipe experiments by Professor Osborne Reynolds at the University of Manchester over 100 years ago, but the concept has found crucial application in aerodynamics. For such a powerful parameter, the Reynolds number has a very simple form, as seen below,
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