Vortexes are created everywhere where things are being moved and decrease the aerodynamic efficiency

  • cars on the streets

  • aircraft in the air

  • ships and submarines in water

  • pipes and tubes of all sorts

At all corners and edges,also in pipes without turns, spirals are created to boost the energy consumption. In wind and water tunnels engineering work is directed to reduce the spirals by improving the shape (e.g. winglets on plane wings), but science and technology are not able to break through the frontiers. Ship propellers can only transverse limited power in the water because at high rotation speed the cavitation erodes the propellers.

The question remains what is the solution?

  • to avoid the perturbing vortexes (turbulences) or

  • to create purposeful whirls

In Wolfsburg the car factory town from Volkswagen AG one can see a little experimental set up to show how to visualize wind/water aerodynamics on a car model. You can pull the car models by a red ball through an aluminium powder containing fluid. Behind it whirls come into existence – more for an old-fashioned body and less at a modern one.

Automodell mit größerem Luftwiderstand

Fig.: More wind resistance

Automodell mit kleinerem Luftwiderstand

Fig.: Less wind resistance