Airflow around an aircraft wing

A stream trace around a section of a wing.

Visualising the aerodynamic effects of an aircraft wing, with a 3° angle of attack.

A close up of the airflow as it hits the leading edge of a wing.

Aeroplane wings are shaped to make air move faster over the top of the wing. When air moves faster, the pressure of the air decreases. So the pressure on the top of the wing is less than the pressure on the bottom of the wing.

A preview of an interactive 3D model showing airflow around an aircraft wing.

The difference in pressure creates a force on the wing that lifts the wing up into the air.

A reverse angle showing the air passing over the wing's trailing edge.

About this project

Creating this artwork required a variety of differing disciplines. The original wing structure was modelled within the CAD software Fusion 360. The completed form was then imported into an OpenFOAM simulation instance, where a lengthy computational fluid dynamics simulation was performed.

Having simulated the airflow, the results were migrated into Houdini for polygonal manipulation. Redshift GPU renderer was used to create the static images and turntable video. To create the realtime model, polygons were reduced and optimised.

A turntable showing a 360° look at airflow around a wing.