- Sep 17, 2008
It wouldn't be anything similar to airflow. Air molecules repel each other somehow, which is why air is compressible. That sand (or the Wheel-a-brator's steel shot) doesn't repel anything. It wouldn't follow any streamlines.I think NASA* could do an experiment:
Build an "airless" wind tunnel. In other words a vacuum chamber.
Instead of air, particles of sand or something similar would be slung at the model in the tunnel.
This would eliminate most of the reduced pressure characteristics of air, but the inertia characteristics of particles would remain. I expect the reaction lift would only occur on the bottom.
A device called a "Wheel-a-brator" could hurl the airless sand. (used for industrial sand blasting)
* NASA could "throw" money at the model.
In the '80s our shop had one of those shot blasters. Mighty aggressive cleaning. We used very small steel shot. The machine had a ten-horse motor driving a paddle wheel with paddles made of really hard, brittle steel.
See this: https://www.av8n.com/how/htm/airfoils.html#sec-fluid