What are these oblong things with little propellers?


Awesome, thanks. Huh, i did not actually realize those were propellers, I just thought they contributed to aerodynamics somehow. They probably create a substantial amount of drag, in reality. ...



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  • Awesome, thanks.
  • Huh, I didn't realize those were actually propellers, I just thought they helped with aerodynamics somehow.
  • They probably create quite a bit of drag, in fact.
  • Yeah you're probably right, but when I say it might help with aerodynamics I'm not saying it might have reduced drag, I'm just saying it might have improved airflow, maybe to stabilize how the thing is suspended in the pylons, or to generate vortices. Full disclaimer: I don't have anything close to a functional understanding of aerodynamics, I just know that it's weird and unintuitive.
  • A windmilling prop creates a lot of drag.
  • Yeah, now that I know that it does that, it definitely creates drag and does none of the other stuff.
  • They generate a large amount of drag. As mentioned above, they generate no addition in stability. Merely a ram air turbine to generate power. In fact, something on the front of an aerodynamic body typically DECREASES stability. Think of it like an inverted pendulum.
  • Yeah, that makes sense. Knowing that they're rotors obviously means that they aren't in place to improve aerodynamics. I'm just trying to explain why I initially thought they might be for aerodynamic purposes. The small canards on the B-1 serve to stabilize its flight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canard_(aeronautics)#Ride_control
  • The canards on the B-1A and B-1B are actually an interesting case. The aircraft's mission was changed from high-altitude, Mach 2 bombing to low altitude, high subsonic. The long nose of the aircraft acted like a huge spring, and oscillated violently in turbulence. The canards were programmed to try to dampen out some of these oscillations, and keep the kidneys of the pilots in place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD3I0waAUag
  • Nowhere does it say they stabilize its flight. They reduce buffeting. Large difference. They work through an active control system to counteract certain aircraft motions. They work via stability augmentation.
  • Well, reducing buffeting is a form of stabilization...at least in terms of how I was using the word with respect to the pods. It might not be "stabilization" in a technical aeronautical sense of the word, but as far as I'm concerned if something's hopping around and you make it stop, then you've stabilized it. But yes, the fins on the B-1 definitely are different from what's going on with the rotors on the EW pods. That much is obvious. All I'm trying to do at this point is make my initial guess seem more educated in retrospect.
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