Thu, Apr 16, 2009
Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms,
names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that
populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed
wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.
Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of
the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects
of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also
encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research
any intriguing terms.
Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS
welcome, as are additions or discussion of the
explanations given for each Aero-Term.
A component of aerodynamic drag caused by a partial vacuum in
the rocket's tail area. The vacuum is the hole created by the
rocket's passage through the air. Base drag changes during flight.
While the motor is firing, the drag is minimal since the tremendous
volume of gas generated by the motor fills this void. The drag
takes a sharp jump at burnout when this gas disappears. Base drag
can be reduced by the use of a boat-tail to transition the main
body diameter down to the motor diameter which helps direct air
into the evacuated area. When properly designed, a boattail can
reduce base drag below zero (i.e. actually generate a small amount
of forward thrust) by making use of the "pumpkin seed" effect.
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