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Inertial levitation

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  • Qa Mathematics


We consider the steady levitation of a rigid plate on a thin air cushion with prescribed injection velocity. This injection velocity is assumed to be much larger than that in a conventional Prandtl boundary layer, so that inertial effects dominate. After applying the classical ‘blowhard’ theory of Cole & Aroesty (1968) to the two-dimensional version of the problem, it is shown that in three dimensions the flow may be foliated into streamline surfaces using Lagrangian variables. An example is given of how this may be exploited to solve the three-dimensional problem when the injection pressure distribution is known.

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