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Old October 6 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
Re: Shuttlecraft - curved edges on top?

Those shapes are there in the earliest concept drawings of the shuttle - that is, once TPTB realized they could not afford a shape other than simple shoebox. Probably a sort of "we can't do wings on this budget but these are their futuristic equivalent" thing.

It isn't completely unrealistic that such curving would have a beneficial aerodynamic effect. I mean, in reality this specific type of curvature probably won't, but curves like that do reduce power-wasting vortices in modern airfoils. Add a bit of artistic license and there you have it: a flying brick made more stable and fuel-efficient in atmospheres because the curves redirect the airflow at the all-important corners.

Timo Saloniemi
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