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Kinematics of liquids is the section of aerodynamics, which studies
types and forms of movement of liquids and gases, regardless the action of
effecting forces.
The primary aim of kinematics is studying velocities of particles. Set of
particles' velocities of fluid environment forms a field of velocities. Therefore,
to have full representation about liquid or gas movement character it is
necessary to obtain values of velocities in all points of researched area.
Thus, in general, the velocity value will be a function of coordinates and
2.1. Methods of research of fluid movement
There are two methods of studying fluid movement: Lagrange method
and Euler's method.
In Lagrange method studying fluid movement is conducted by
supervision over fluid separate particles moving along their trajectories.
Each particle is considered as a material point. As there is an infinite set of
particles; they are characterized by coordinates at the initial time.
Let the coordinates of the given particle are: a , b , c when t 0 (in the
initial time). It means, that among all trajectories, the particle will possess the
one, that passes through coordinates: a , b and c (fig. 2.1). Particle's
coordinates x , y , z are functions of coordinates a , b , c and time t :
x 1 ( a , b, c , t ) ;

y 2 ( a , b, c , t ) ;

z 3 ( a , b, c, t ) ,
where a , b , c are the parameters
determining the trajectory of the
particle, the point special values at
the initial time t 0 .
The equations (2.1) are the
family of trajectories (in the
parametrical form), which fill the
whole space occupied with fluid

Fig. 2.1. Movement of liquid particle

Equations (2.1) completely

define kinematics of flow. Indeed, knowing these equations it is easy to

determine velocities and accelerations of fluid particles in the arbitrary time
moment by time differentiation of trajectory equations:
x 1 ( a , b, c, t )
2 x 2 1 ( a , b, c , t )

, wx 2
t 2
y 2 ( a , b, c, t )
2 y 2 2 ( a , b, c , t )

, wy 2
t 2

z 3 ( a , b, c , t )
z 3 ( a , b, c , t )

, wz 2


A concept about the particle trajectory corresponds to the Lagrange

method. A trajectory of fluid particle is named a curve, which is drawn by a
particle moving in space for some period of time. A great variety of particles
trajectories may pass through each point of space. Trajectories can cross
themselves and be very complex and intricate, therefore considering them is
rather difficult problem.
But there is no necessity to know a particle trajectory for solution of
practical problems of aerohydrodynamics.
For example, it is possible to determine pressure in each point of wing
surface with the help of the energy equation, if a flow velocity is predefined in
each point. Apparently, the practical task of fluid kinematics issues the
problem to define the velocity for certain point of space, depending on
personal features of particles passing through this point.
Eulers method is used to regard stationary space filled with moving
fluid, and to study velocity variation in time in the given point.
Thus, the Eulers method represents particles velocities as function of
time and coordinates x , y , z of points of space, or in specifying the velocity
field. Then
V x f 1 (x, y, z, t) ;

V y f 2 (x, y, z, t) ;
Vz f 3 (x, y, z, t) .


Let's assume, that fluid motion is non-separable, therefore we shall

consider functions shown in equations (2.3) as simple, continuous and
differentiable functions of coordinates x , y , z and time t . In that case to
define a trajectory of fluid particles we shall (2.3) replace V x , V y , Vz in
dx dy dz
equations to
correspondingly and integrate the system of
dt dt
differential equations:


f 1 (x, y, z, t) ;


f 2 (x, y, z, t) ;


f 3 (x, y, z, t) .

After integration we shall obtain:

x 1 ( a , b, c , t ) ;

y 2 ( a , b, c , t ) ;
z 3 ( a , b, c, t ) .



These equations have three arbitrary constants a , b , c , which shall be

determined from the initial conditions.
consider a fluid flow characterized by the given velocity vector
field V . Let there be some scalar field designated as U(x, y, z, t) in the
space occupied with moving fluid, which varies with time. Let's define a rate
of change of value U with time, observing the given fluid particle, moving
according to the law x( t ) , y( t ) , z( t ) .
It is necessary to take a total derivative with respect to time of value U
to determine a rate of its change:
dU U U dx U dy U dz

x dt y dt z dt
Since functions x( t ) , y( t ) , z( t ) represent the coordinates of a moving
Vx ,
Vy ,
Vz .
particle, than
Finally for
we shall obtain the following expression:
dU U

For the vector field A(x, y, z, t) varying with respect to time we shall
dA A

dt t
The first summand in formulas (2.6) and (2.7) characterizes variation
of considered value with respect to time in the fixed point of space and
therefore it can be named a local derivative. The other summands are

associated with movement of a fluid particle and therefore they are called as
a convective derivative. It characterizes the field heterogeneity of considered
value at the given point of time.
Using expressions (2.6) and (2.7), it is possible to calculate a rate of
change of any values of scalar and vector fields.
For example, we'll define a rate of change of moving particle density by
means of formula (2.6):



We shall get the fluid particle acceleration vector, which equals to the
derivative from velocity vector
rof this particle
r respect
r to time by (2.7):
r dV V

Projecting w on coordinate axes we can write down the following
dV x V x
V x
V x
V x

dV y V y
V y
V y
V y

w z z z V x z V y z Vz z .
In general case of fluid motion, projections of velocity V x , V y , Vz ,
pressure p and density will be functions of coordinates x , y , z and time
t , that is
V x f 1 ( x, y, z, t) ;
V y f 2 ( x, y, z, t) ;
Vz f 3 ( x, y, z, t) ;
p f 4 (x, y, z, t) ;
f 5 ( x, y, z, t) .
If projections of a velocity V x , V y , Vz , pressure p and a density in
the fixed point of space having coordinates x , y , z will be functions of time
t , than such fluid motion is unsteady.
If values V x , V y , Vz , p and in the fixed point of space do not vary
with time, such fluid motion is called steady. It means, that an arbitrary fluid
particle which comes to the given fixed point of space, will have the same

values of V x , V y , Vz , p and in this point as former fluid particles in this
point. In this case expressions (2.11) will be written as follows:
V x f 1 ( x, y, z) ;
V y f 2 ( x, y, z) ;
Vz f 3 ( x, y, z) ;
p f 4 (x, y, z) ;
f 5 ( x, y, z)


For steady motion the field of considered values is stationary, and local
derivatives are equal to zero:
V x V y Vz



0 etc.

But total derivatives of these values differ from zero, as in general case
the velocity, pressure and density change with transition from point to point.
Only in the special case, when we consider the uniform rectilinear motion of
an incompressible homogeneous fluid, we have
dV x dV y dVz

0 and
2.2. Streamline. Fluid tube. Flow filament
The Euler's method feature is the concept of streamlines.
Let's consider an arbitrary point A
in space filled with fluid in arbitrary
moment of time t (fig. 2.2). Let V A is
the vector of velocity at point A . Let us
put aside a small line segment from the
point A in the direction of vector V A
and mark point B . VB is the vector of
velocity in the point B . Having put aside
a small line segment
from point B along
the vector VB we'll receive point C at
Fig. 2.2. Drawing of streamline
the end of the line segment. Continuing
such drawing further we shall receive in
the aggregate some polyline ABCDE . Increasing number of line segments

and considering length of each segment as infinitesimal we shall receive a
smooth curve instead of a polyline, which will be one of streamlines.
The streamline is a totality of fluid particles, which velocity vectors are
tangent to it at given point of time.
The fluid particle draws a trajectory during its movement. Streamlines
do not coincide with trajectories during the unsteady movement and they are
identical, when the movement is steady. It is necessary to note, that it is
possible to draw only one streamline through each point of the space filled
with moving fluid at the fixed moment of time.
The trajectory of a particle fixes changing position of the same particle
eventually, and the streamline specifies a velocity direction of various
particles at the same moment of time. Trajectories can intersect. Streamlines
neither intersect themselves, nor any another, as the velocity vector would
have two various directions in the cross point at given time, that is physically
impossible. Exception is only so-called flow special points, where the value of
velocity equals zero or is theoretically infinite.
The set of streamlines gives a picture of flow at present time that is an
instant photograph of flow velocity directions. A number of such pictures for
various moments of time represent the geometrical flow image
corresponding to the Eulers method.

Fig. 2.3. Streamline

established, that velocity vectors
are tangent to the streamline at
each moment of time. Therefore if
we should take any point A on the
curve, and an elementary line
segment dl located close to it with
projections dx , dy , dz (fig. 2.3) on
corresponding axes, then the
velocity vector and the direction of
this line segment in the given point
would coincide, or in other words
they would be parallel.

Let's find the differential equation of a streamline. It follows from

parallelism condition of streamline and vector of velocity in the given point
r r
V , dl 0 .

Let's represent the vector product as determinant

j, k
V x , V y , Vz 0 ,
dx , dy, dz
deploying the first line of determinant we shall obtain

V y , Vz
dy, dz

and from this equation

Vx , V y
Vz , V x
dz , dx
dx , dy

V y dz Vz dy 0 ,
Vz dx V x dz 0 ,
V x dy V y dx 0 .

The obtained expressions can be written as follows


V x ( x, y, z, t) V y ( x, y, z, t) Vz ( x, y, z, t)


The system (2.14) is called as differential equations of streamlines.

Thus, the problem of streamline determination by the given field of
velocities is reduced to integrating the system of differential equations.
Let's introduce the concepts of the fluid tube. For this purpose we shall
draw some closed contour within fluid (fig. 2.4), which is not a streamline,
and draw streamlines through each point of the contour. A set of these
streamlines forms a surface, which is named fluid tube. Fluid flowing inside
the fluid tube is called as flow filament.
It is necessary to note, that fluid tube
formed by streamlines in stationary motion,
does not change with respect to time and is
similar to impermeable tube in which the
fluid flows as in a tunnel with solid walls,
which limit its contents. The fluid does not
flow out from the fluid tube through lateral
surface and is not added to it as in all
points of flow filament actual velocity is
directed along the streamline.

Fig. 2.4. Fluid tube

Within elementary flow filament velocities in all points of the same

cross section can be assumed as equal to each other and to local velocities.
Elementary flow filament is a visual kinematic representation, which

significantly facilitates studying fluid motion, and it is put in the basis of socalled jet model of fluid flow.
According to this model, entered in aerohydrodynamics even in a period
of its scientific formation, the space filled with moving fluid is considered as a
set of many elementary flow filaments. The set of elementary flow filaments,
which flow through the area large enough, forms a fluid flow. Today the flow
filament model is one of the basic fluid models.
2.3. Continuity equation
The continuity equation expresses a law of mass conservation as
applied to a moving fluid, which approves an invariance mass of fluid volume
with respect to time ( dm dt 0 ).
Let's assume that moving fluid completely fills entire space or its fixed
area, i.e. that voids or gaps are absent. This requirement is called as
continuity condition.
Let's consider some fixed closed surface of an arbitrary shape limiting
volume W through which a compressible fluid flows (fig. 2.5). Let's
determine the fluid mass flowing through the given surface per unit of time.
Let's consider the fluid mass
flowing out from the volume W as
positive and the fluid mass that flowing
in as negative. The fluid mass equals to
product Vn dS shall flow through the
surface element dS per unit time,
where Vn is the projection of velocity
vector V to perpendicular drawn to
surface element dS .

Fig. 2.5. Explanation of continuity


All the fluid mass flowing through surface S per unit time can be
determined by the following integral

VndS .


On the other hand, this fluid mass can be obtained as change of mass
in volume W per unit time:

dW ,
t dW

represents change of density per unit time.


Vn dS
dW .



Applying the Ostrogradsky-Gauss formula to the integral in the left part




)dW ,
of equation (2.17)

we receive


div( V )dW



t div( V ) dW 0 .


Provided that the written equation (2.18) is valid for any arbitrary
volume W , the integrand should be equal to zero

div( V ) 0 ,
which is the continuity equation in the differential form for unsteady motion of
compressible fluid.
In the detailed form the continuity equation (2.19) looks like:

( V x ) ( V y ) ( Vz )



The equation (2.20) can also be written in the other form. Taking into
account, that
( V x )

( V y )



( Vz )

Vz z ,
we shall obtain:
V x V y Vz

Vx V y

t x

1 d V x V y Vz

The vectorial form of the last expression looks like
1 d
div(V ) 0 .



For different types of flows the continuity equation (2.19) becomes as


0 , const )
for steady-state motion of compressible fluid (
div( V ) 0

( Vx ) ( V y ) ( Vz )


for steady-state motion of incompressible

fluid ( const )
div( V ) 0

Vx V y Vz



Taking into account the equation (2.26) it is possible to approve, that

requirement of conservation of mass demands the volumetric deformation
rate of incompressible fluid to be equal to zero when fluid moves.
2.4. Flow consumption equation
To solve many practical aerohydrodynamics problems it is necessary
to have the continuity equation in the form, which would settle the connection
between velocity and the flow filament cross-sectional area. Such equation is
the flow consumption equation, representing the law of conservation of mass
as well as the continuity equation.

The flow consumption is the quantity of fluid running through actual
flow cross-section or flow filament section per unit time. The flow
consumption can be measured in units of volume, weight or mass.
Accordingly three types of the flow consumption are distinguished:
volumetric, weight and mass.
For elementary flow filament (fig. 2.6,) the velocity distribution is
accepted to be considered as uniform then the volumetric flow consumption
is dQ VdS ; the weight flow consumption dG gVdS ; and the mass flow
consumption dM VdS .
For the finite size flow, where the
velocity within the actual cross-section is
variable (Fig. 2.6,b), expressions for
three types of flow consumption will look

Fig. 2.6. elementary flow filament;
b finite size flow

Q VdS ;

G gVdS ;

M VdS .

As always, considering such cases the concept of mean velocity shall

be entered:



Let's receive the equation of flow consumption. The fluid mass running
through arbitrary surface S and limiting volume W (fig. 2.7) can be
determined by the integral (2.15). For steady-state motion we also have the

VdS 0 , i.e. mass flowing in volume W

is equal to the mass

flowing out. Let's apply the obtained result to elementary flow filament.
Starting from the said above m m1 mlat m2 0 . Fluid mass
mlat 0 , because Vn 0 on lateral surface of the fluid tube (from property of
streamline). Having written the values for m1 and m 2 , we shall receive

1 V1 dS 2 V2 dS 0 ,

and it follows that


1 V1 S1 2 V2 S 2 const .


Fig. 2.7. Explanation of development of flow consumption equation

for elementary flow filament

Expression (2.28) is called the flow consumption equation for

elementary flow filament of the compressible fluid. For incompressible fluid (
const ) so
V1 S1 V2 S 2 const .
For the finite size channel (fig. 2.8), it is possible to write:
m m1 mlet m 2 0 , mlat 0 (as Vn 0 ), then the
consumption through cross-sections 1 1 and 2 2 will be equal to


1 V1 dS 2 V2 dS 0 .


Using concept of mean velocity (2.27), we shall receive

1V1m S1 2V2m S 2 .


Expression (2.30) represents the flow consumption equation for
moving compressible fluid within the finite size channel.
For incompressible fluid the flow consumption equation is
V1m S1 V2m S 2 .


Fig. 2.8. Explanation of the development of flow consumption equation

for the finite size channel

The flow consumption equation is widely used to solve the

aerohydrodynamics problems; it gives simple dependence between the
velocity and flow filament sectional area. The equation (2.29) shows, that for
incompressible fluid when fluid tube becomes narrower (thickening
streamlines) velocity increases, and with expanding fluid tube (streamlines
divergence) velocity decreases.
In the event of compressible fluid volume-flow persistence may not
have place. Under certain conditions fluid flow consumption through two
cross-sections of the flow filament may differ due to density change between
them, but thus the law of mass conservation is not been broken.
According to flow consumption equations the fluid tubes should be
closed or end on fluid boundaries as at S 0 we get V ; the infinite
velocity does not exist in nature.
2.5. Motion of fluid particle. Angular velocity
In a kinematics of a solid body it is proved, that it general case motion
of a solid body can be separated into its constituent parts: translation and
rotation around some axis called instantaneous rotation axis.

Motion of fluid particle is much more complex. When moving fluid
particle can change ones shape it can distort, in this case resulting motion
of fluid particle will comprise three motion types: translation, rotation and

Fig. 2.9. Motion of the elementary fluid


Rotary movement of fluid particle is called

r vortex motion. It is accepted
to designate angular velocity of rotation as . This value is vectorial, so it is
possible to separate it to three components ( x , y , z ) parallel the
corresponding coordinate axes.
Apparently, absolute value of full angular velocity can be determined in
the known way:

x2 y2 z2 .
Let's express angular velocity x , y , z by means of linear
velocities V x , V y , Vz . For this purpose we shall consider motion of the
elementary fluid parallelepiped with edges dx , dy and dz (fig. 2.9) during
rather small period of time dt .

Let's consider at first the face of parallelepiped parallel to coordinate
plane x0 y (fig. 2.10). Let the point a
of this edge at some instant time
moment t has the traveling velocity
equal to V x along the x axis, and
along the y axis - equal to V y ; then
the point b distanced from point a on
dy along the y axis will have velocity
directed along the axis x , equal to:

Fig. 2.10. The fluid parallelepiped edge

movement in the general case

V x V x

V x
dy .

At the same time the point c distanced from the point a on value equal
to dx along y axis has the velocity
V y
V y V y
dx .
Due to velocity difference V x V x in infinitesimal period dt the point b
will move along the x axis the following distance relatively to point a

V x
dy dt ,

and for the same period the point c due to difference of velocitys V y V y will
move along the y axis with respect to the point a on distance

V y

dx dt .
For the same time line segment ab will rotate on infinitesimal angle
d 1

bb V x

dt ,


and line segment ac will rotate, accordingly, on angle
cc V y

dt .
If parallelepiped was not deformated and if it would rotate about the
edge dz , line segments ab and ac would rotate in the same direction on the
same angle d (fig. 2.11). On the contrary, if they would not rotate and the
element would be distorted only so line segments ab and ac would rotate on
the same angle d , either towards each other, or in the opposite directions
(fig. 2.12).
d 2

Fig. 2.11. Rotation of the fluid

parallelepiped edge

Fig. 2.12. Deformation of the fluid

parallelepiped edge

Generally it is possible to consider, that sides ab and ac turn around

edge dz on angle d due to rotation of the element and additionally turn on
opposed angles d due to parallelepiped-to-lozenge deformation and finally
take the positions ab and ac . In that case we shall have using fig. 2.13
d 1 d d , d 2 d d ,


d 2 d 1 .

Fig. 2.13. Explanation how to define

angles of face rotation

The element angular velocity with respect to edge dz can be

determined using the following relation:

d 1 d 2 d 1

dt 2 dt

That is resulting in the following form with the help of equations (2.32)
and (2.33):
1 V y V x

2 x
Considering motion of edges of similar parallelepiped, which faces are
parallel to planes x0z and y0z we shall receive expressions for all
components of angular velocity:

1 Vz V y

2 y

1 V x Vz

2 z

1 V y V x

2 x


With the help of these formulas it is easy to determine components of

angular velocity by elementary differentiation if components of linear velocity
are known as functions of coordinates.

Angular velocity of rotation can be written in the vectorial form as
r 1
r 1
rotV ,
where is a vortex of velocity.
It should be note that both translational and rotational motions and
deformation of fluid element occur simultaneously, irrespective of each other.
The particular case when fluid particles do not revolve around the
instantaneous axis is named as vortex-free or potential (the meaning of the
latter will be explained in subsection 2.7).
2.6. Fluid vortex-type flow
In aerohydrodynamics the significant place is allocated to the theory of
vortex-type flow flow where vortex of velocity is not equal to zero.
As it is known, movement of a fluid particle can be divided into three
components: translation, rotation and deformation movement. Rotation of a
fluid around some instant axis is defined by the vortex of velocity. The vortex
of velocity represents a vector of the double instant angular velocity
2 .
If the considered part of fluid is totally whirling, it is possible to speak
about the vortex field: the vector representing angular velocity of fluid particle
located at this place at present time can be drawn for each point in space.
2.6.1. Vortex line. Vortex tube. Vortex core
As streamlines give the concept
about field of velocities, vortex lines give
analogous concept of vortex field.

Fig. 2.14. Vortex line

Vortex line is such line within flow where the vector of angular velocity
or vector of vortex of velocity is directed along tangent to this line in its
each point (fig. 2.14). Vortex lines can change their form and position in
space with time. Vortex lines, similarly to streamlines, cannot intersect in the
flow: only one vortex line may be drawn through each point of vortex flow.
It follows from definition of vortex line:
r r
, dr 0 ,
where r is a radius-vector, determining position of points located on vortex
line with respect to some center.
The differential equations of vortex lines can be written down as follows
by analogy to the differential equations of streamlines

x ( x, y, z, t) y ( x, y, z, t) z ( x, y, z, t)
After substituting the expressions for components of angular velocity
into these equations (2.34) we shall receive the system of independent
differential equations, integration of which gives equations of vortex lines in
the final form.
Generally vortex lines and streamlines do not coincide and can
intersect. It is necessary to note, that the streamline can be ideally drawn in
any fluid flow, and the vortex line can not always and everywhere be drawn.
For example in case of potential flow the angular-velocity vector is equal to
zero in all points and vortex lines in such flow do not exist.
At constant flow vortex lines do not vary with time, similarly to
streamlines. If vortex lines and streamlines coincide, vectors of linear and
angular velocities coincide. Such fluid flow is called helical flow. The
equation of helical lines obtained from a requirement of vector parallelism of
linear and angular velocity vectors has the following form:
V x V y Vz

x y z

If we should draw vortex lines
through each point of some line L ,
which is not being a vortex line; their
combination would form a vortex
surface. If the line L is a closed loop
the vortex surface turns into a vortex
tube (fig. 2.15). The vortex tube together
with rotating fluid enclosed within forms
a vortex core. Thin vortex core is
sometimes called a vortex trunk (vortex

Fig. 2.15. Vortex tube

2.6.2. Vortex core strength

Let's consider a thin vortex line (fig. 2.16) and split it by plane ,
perpendicular to filament axis.
Strength or vortex line consumption is determined by velocity vortex
flow through the area of filament section d normal to vortex vector
dI d
or by doubled flow of vortex velocity:

dI 2 d .


Let's now split the vortex line by

plane S , making the arbitrary angle
with the plane of normal section .
Then the area of inclined section dS
will be concerned with the area of
normal section by the equation:

Fig. 2.16. Explanation of development

of equation of vortex filament

d dS cos .

Let n be the normal to the area dS , and n cos is the angular rate
component normal to this area.

Taking into account two latest equations we shall write down the
expression (2.39) in more general form:
r r
dI 2( ,n )dS ,
where n is the unit vector normal to surface dS .
Strength of vortex line or its consumption can serve as a standard
measure of fluid vorticity happening within the vortex filament. Consumption
of a vortex core is:
r r
I ( ,n )dS 2 ( ,n )dS .

2.6.3. First Helmholtz vortex theorem

Values of angular-velocity vector and sectional area may vary
along the given vortex core, however vortex core consumption along its
whole length remains constant. This is a content of the first Helmholtz
This theorem is only of kinematic type and is valid for any continuum
provided that the field of velocities is a continuous function of coordinates.
We shall prove this theorem using Zhukovsky method. Starting from
equations (2.34), we shall write partial derivatives with respect to coordinates
x , y and z for angular velocity

x 1 2Vz V y

2 yx zx

y 1 2V x 2Vz

2 zy xy

z 1 V y 2V x

2 xz yz

Having summed them we obtain the equation:

x y z

div( ) 0 .


Last equation is similar to the continuity equation (2.25) if we should
assume that incompressible fluid moves within the vortex tube with

. Thus, the equation (2.42) is the continuity equation for vector .
By analogy with the flow consumption equation (2.29) for vortex
filament for which angular rate may be considered as constant value over
the section, it is possible to write down
I 2 1 1 2 2 2 co n s t .
For all cross-sections of vortex line strength I is a constant value,
therefore at reduction of cross-sectional area angular rate will increase
and on the contrary. If I 0 at 0 angular rate 0 that is physically
impossible. Thus, the vortex line can not be needle point at its end in a fluid,
it only can lean against its solid boundaries, or on a free surface or to swing
in a ring.
2.6.4. Velocity circulation
Both theoretical and applied aerodynamics widely use a concept of
velocity circulation designated as .
Let's draw an arbitrary closed
contour L within moving fluid flow and
take any element dl belonging to this
contour (fig. 2.17). We shall mark the
velocity in ther middle of element dl
(point M ) as V , and the angle between
vector V and tangent to the contour as
. Let's consider the product VS dl

Fig. 2.17. To a velocity circulation


r r
d VS dl V cos(V ,dl )dl V cos dl ,
this is called an elementary velocity circulation.
Lets take the curvilinear integral along the arc AB :

V cos(V , dl )dl .



This expression is termed as a velocity circulation along arc AB .
Circulation is usually calculated along the whole closed loop L
V cos(V , dl ) dl V cos dl VS dl


We shall consider the direction of integration as positive if the area,

enclosed by contour L remains to the left during integration.
Expression (2.46) for circulation can be written in another form. The
velocity vector projection on the direction of tangent to the contour in its any
point will be equal to the sum of projections of vector components on the
same direction, i.e.
VS V x cos( x ,l ) V y cos( y,l ) Vz cos( z ,l ) ,
where l is tangent direction.
For such substitution elementary circulation d VS dl will be written
down as
d V x dl cos( x ,l ) V y dl cos( y ,l ) Vz dl cos( z ,l ) .
Taking into account, that
dl cos( x ,l ) dx , dl cos( y ,l ) dy , dl cos( z ,l ) dz ,
we shall receive the following expressions:
d V x dx V y dy Vz dz ,


V x dx V y dy Vz dz .


Integrals (2.46) and (2.48) have no defined physical meaning.

However, as we shall see further, the velocity circulation is very important
value in aerohydrodynamics. It is related to the vortex consumption and
strength; as N.E. Zhukovsky had proved, the value of wing lift directly
depends on the velocity circulation value.

2.6.5. Relation of elementary circulation with vortex strength.
Stocks theorem
Lets draw in the fluid flow infinitely
small closed contour in the form of rightangled triangle which legs are parallel to
coordinate axes 0 x and 0 y and
determine velocity circulation over this
contour. We shall be passing around the
triangle contour in the counter-clockwise
direction, having taken it as a positive
direction of tangent to the contour. We
shall suppose, that velocities dx , dy and
dl at the infinitely small sides of triangle
vary by the linear law and applied to the
middle of the sides.
Fig. 2.18. Explanation how to develop
velocity circulation of the contour of
elementary triangle

Elementary circulation by the contour of triangle equals to:

d V x dx (V y sin V x cos )dl V y dy .
It is seen from fig. 2.18.
dl sin dy and dl cos dx ,
d V x dx V y dy V x dx V y dy (V y V y )dy (V x V x )dx .
Taking into account that
V y V y

V x dy 1
V y dx
, V x V x
, dxdy dS ,
y 2 2
x 2

where dS is the triangle area we obtain:


1 V y V x

dx dy 2 z dS .
2 x


But the angular rte z is normal to area dS , therefore

2 z dS 2 n dS dI ,
where dI is a strength of vortex filaments crossing area dS .


Comparing equations (2.49) and (2.50), we can finally write down
d 2 n dS dI .


So, velocity circulation d calculated along simple closed contour in

the form of right-angled triangle, is equal to the strength of vortex filaments
dI , enclosed by the triangle contour.
Obtained result can be easily generalized for an arbitrary infinitely
small triangle abc (Fig. 2.19,a). Such triangle always can be split on two
right-angled triangles 1 and 2 by dotted line cd , and we can apply equation
(2.51) to each of them, i.e.
d 1 dI 1 , d 2 dI 2 ,
d d 1 d 2 dI 1 dI 2 dI ,


where d is a velocity circulation over the contour of given triangle abc ;

dI is strength of vortex filament enclosed by the contour of given triangle.
Equation (2.52) follows from fig. 2.19,a, but when summing circulations
d 1 and d 2 over contours of right-angled triangles 1 and 2 , the circulation
along the cd is taken twice, but with the opposite signs, so it is cancelled.
The circulation over sides of the given triangle is not cancelled and equals to
d in sum.
So, as it follows from the latter equation, for any infinitely small triangle
d dI ,
i.e. equation (2.51) is true.
Moreover, it is true for any infinitely small tetragon abcd (fig. 2.19,b),
as it can always be divided into two triangles by dotted line ac , for each
triangle we can apply equation (2.52). When summing circulations over both
triangles like in the former case, we can see that the circulation over internal
dotted line will be taken twice, but with the opposite sings and while
summation it will be cancelled. But the circulation over the sides of the given
tetragon will not be cancelled and it will be equal to strength of vortexes that
intersect area of tetragon. Hence, for infinitely small tetragon we obtain
equation (2.51).
Let's consider the general case. Examine arbitrary closed contour L in
fluid flow with continuous surface S located within the fluid flow and leans
against it (fig.2.19,c). On surface S let's draw a grid formed by two families
of intersecting lines, which divide the surface into a number of areas, each of
them will be bounded by its own closed contour Si .


Fig. 2.19. Proving Stocks theorem.

If we should sum circulations over all internal contours, we could see

that the circulation will be taken twice over every line drawn on the surface
S , but with opposite signs and under summation these circulations for all
internal lines will be mutually cancelled. But circulations over sections of
given contour L would not be cancelled. As these circulations for all
sections of contour L are taken in the same direction as shown on
fig. 2.19,c, the sum of circulations over all internal contours will be equal to
the circulation of velocity over given contour, i.e.

i ,

where i is a velocity circulation over any internal closed contour.

For the extreme case, when every internal area becomes infinitely
small and each bounding contour is a triangle or tetragon, which are infinitely
small, equation (2.51) for any closed contour L will have the final form
V S dl 2 n dS 1 .


In the same manner one can show that this relation is true for nonplanar contour L and part of surface S , but only if the contour is simply and
part of surface does not go beyond boundaries of the fluid. So finally Stocks
theorem can be formulated in the following way: the velocity circulation over
any arbitrary contour equals to the vortex vector flow through the surface
leaning against this contour and not going beyond the fluid bounds, or
equals to the sum of strength of vortex filaments intersecting the surface.
Conclusion following from the Stocks theorem is: if we should draw a
closed contour on the surface of vortex tube, enclosing vortex tube the
circulation over such closed contour will be equal to vortex tube strength; if
we should draw a contour on its surface that does not enclose a vortex tube,
the circulation over this contour will be equal to zero.
This theorem is kinematic one and can be applied to any continuous
system if the movement of this system is continuous.

2.6.6. The generalization of circulation theorem
When proving this theorem some certain assumptions were made,
such as:
velocity of flow and the first derivatives of velocity components with
respect to coordinates are continuous functions;
velocities vary under a linear law along every side of infinitely small
right-angled triangle;
surface S leaning against the contour L is continuous and is entirely
located within fluid.
Accepted assumptions do not always take place, lets determine how
we can use this theorem for such cases.
Lets show, that requirement of continuity of velocity derivatives is not
essential. Assume, that on some line l1 belonging to the surface S
(fig. 2.20), the first derivative of velocity components undergo rupture, in the
way that when transferring from one side of this line to another side they
suddenly change their value, but keep continuously along this line.

Then we always can draw a grid of
lines on the surface S , so that one of
lines could coincide with line l1 .

Fig. 2.20.

Fig. 2.21.

In that case the line l1 will be a boundary of a number of infinite small

internal areas, but derivatives are continuous along the line itself and
theorem proving is truly expressed by the formula (2.53).
We would come to another result when assuming that on some line l1
velocities undergo rupture when transferring from one side of the line to
another and is surface S has ruptures (fig. 2.21). For example, surface S is
leaning against the given contour l from its face and has a cut inside,
bounded by contour l1 . In that case formula (2.53) can not be applied
directly. But it can be used in the following way. Lets join outer contour l
with internal contour l1 by means of two lines ad and bc which are very
close to each other (fig. 2.21). As a result we shall obtain the combined
closed contour abcda leaning against continuous surface S , for which we
can use formula (2.53)
abcda 2

ndS ,

where abcda is a velocity circulation along the compound contour abcda .
As it follows from fig. 2.21,
abcda ab bc cd da .
Bringing together lines ad and bc , we shall obtain in the limit:
bc cd 0 ,
since circulations bc and cd are taken along the same line but in different
Further, for considered limit case we shall also obtain
ab , cd 1 ,
where is a velocity circulation over the contour l ; 1 is a circulation over
contour l1 . For these substitutions we shall obtain for circulation abcda
abcda 1 2

ndS ,

1 2

ndS .


The theorem of velocity circulation is generalized in this way for a case

of ruptured surface S leaning against outer contour l and internal contour l1
Lets consider a case when line
AB is located on the surface S , on
which velocities undergo rupture when
transferring from one side of it to
another (fig. 2.22).

. 2.22.

In this case we shall encircle the line AB with closed contour l1 and
designate a part of surface S as S1 , enclosed within contour l1 . So we can
apply formula (2.54) to the surface equals to difference between S S1 i.e.
1 2

S S1

n dS

Now we shall pull together the contour l1 to the line AB in such a way
that in the limit its sides would coincide with opposite sides of line AB . Then
the surface S1 will be equal to zero and we shall come to formula (2.54),
where 1 mean velocity circulation on velocity rupture line AB , calculated
over its two sides, shaping together one closed contour l1 .
As velocity circulation is determined only by velocities tangent to
contour, so circulation 1 could differ from zero only if there is a rupture of
tangent velocities on the line AB . If tangent velocities are continuous,
circulation 1 will be equal to zero and we again return to formula (2.53).
If surface S has more than one cuts bounded by internal contours li
with circulation i , then generalized formula will be written down similar to
formula (2.54) as follows:

i 2 ndS .


Contours li may include rupture lines of tangent velocities.

2.7. Foundations of potential flow theory
2.7.1. Concept of potential flow
Fluid flow where vortex velocity equals to zero is called irrotational or
potential fluid motion, i.e. flow free of local rotations of fluid particles.
It should be noted that in real fluids formation of vortex motions is
observed permanently. The reason is a number of facts, including existence
of fluid internal friction. Despite this fact the potential motion scheme gives
us picture very close to real in many cases, important for solving practical
So, assuming that flow is vortex-free, lets consider main features of
potential motion.

Basing on definition of fluid potential flow ( x y z 0 ) we shall
obtain for ratios (2.34)

1 Vz V y

2 y
1 V x Vz

2 z

1 V y V x

2 x


In vector form this condition will have the following form:

rot(V ) 0 .


It follows from equations (2.56):

Vz V y

V x Vz

V y V x



Lets consider the differential trinomial V x dx V y dy Vz dz . As it is

known, equations (2.58) are required and sufficient conditions that this
differential trinomial would be a total differential of function (x, y, z) , which
is continuous function including its partial derivatives up to the second-order,
V x dx V y dy Vz dz d (x, y, z) .
The function (x, y, z) is called velocity potential and has great
importance in aerohydrodynamics. Lets disclose its total differential
V x dx V y dy Vz dz

dz .

Comparing coefficients near dx , dy , dz (increments of arguments), we

shall receive







i.e. velocity projection onto coordinate axis is equal to partial derivative of

velocity potential with respect to corresponding coordinate. This important
potential property is kept for arbitrary direction l also. Lets consider in fluid
point M located
on arbitrary curve (fig. 2.23). Let velocity in the point M is
equal to V . Draw the tangent to the curve in the point M . As we consider
potential flow, there is velocity potential so we can write
dx dy dz

, x ) dx cos(V
, y ) dz cos(V
,z ) dz .

V cos(V
l x dl y dl z dl

cos( l , x ) ,
cos( l , y ) ,
cos( l ,z ) ,
so finally we shall obtain

,l ) V ,
V cos(V
i.e. velocity projection onto arbitrary direction is equal to derivative of velocity
potential along this direction. In particular case in polar coordinates on plane
we shall have




where Vr , Vs are projections of velocity vector V of point M onto direction of
polar radius-vector r and onto direction that is perpendicular to polar radiusvector (fig. 2.24).


Fig. 2.23. Development of main

property of velocity potential

Fig. 2.24. Velocity components in

polar coordinate system.

Availability of velocity potential simplifies solving many problems in

aerodynamics, since in this case three unknown values V x , V y and Vz can
be expressed using partial derivatives of one unknown function velocity
potential (x, y, z) according to equations (2.59).
Surface defined by equation
(x, y, z) const


is called equipotential surface. It follows from definition that velocity potential

has constant value on such surface. Line drawn on equipotential surface will
be called an equipotential line respectively.

Vl 0 will be equal to zero in

any direction l tangent to equipotential surface direction.
It follows that velocity vectors V are perpendicular to equipotential
surface. Streamlines are also perpendicular to it as velocity vectors V are
tangent to streamlines.
Due to condition (2.62) derivative

There is close association between velocity potential and circulation in

vortex-free flow. For example, velocity circulation over any closed contour l
connecting two arbitrary points A and B can be expressed in a form of
curvilinear integral

(V x dx V y dy Vz dz ) .

Substituting V x , V y and Vz with their expressions taken from formulas

(2.59) in the latter equation we shall obtain


dz d B A .
z A


It means that velocity circulation in potential flow over some contour

does not depend on contour shape and is equal to difference between
velocity potential in the initial point and velocity potential in the final point of
contour. If contour is closed velocity potential is simple coordinate function
and circulation becomes equal to zero.
It should be noted that velocity potential could be both single- and
multiple-valued coordinate function.
2.7.2. Multiple-valued velocity potential
Such parameters as pressure, density, and velocity components in
steady motion must be single-valued coordinate functions by their physical
implication. Velocity potential is an auxiliary function and it can be both
single-valued and multiple-valued coordinate function. Lets determine in
what cases velocity potential will be single-valued and in what cases it will be
Potential flow domain is called simply connected if any closed curve
drawn within it can be pulled together into a point by means of continuous
deformation without rupture and do not spread over boundaries of potential
Otherwise domain is called multiply connected. For example potential
flow, which contains a vortex filament with strength I is two connected
domain (fig. 2.25).
In this case contour l enclosing vortex filament cannot be pulled
together in a point without rupture and without spreading over bounds of
potential domain.

potential is a single-valued only in
simply connected domain.

Fig. 2.25. Multiply connected domain

Lets consider a segment of contour l between points A and B (see

fig. 2.25) and determine velocity circulation over this segment passing from
point A to B in direction shown by arrows. We shall denote velocity
potential value as 0 in point A and as 1 in point B . Then as it follows
from formula (2.63)
AB 1 0 .
Pulling together points A and B in direction shown by arrow until they
become complete coincident we shall obtain the following equation on the
base of circulation theorem
AB I .
Due to this substitution we shall obtain value of velocity potential 1 in
point B from the later equation.

1 0 .
We can see that if vortex filament is present of in flow velocity potential
has two different values 0 and 1 in the same point (point B coincides with
point A ), differing one from another on value .
Lets assume obtained value 1 is the initial value of velocity potential
in point A and make full round over contour l directing to point B . Then
according to the later equation new velocity potential value in point B will be
equal to

2 1 0 2 .

If we continue this process further we shall come to conclusion that
velocity potential in the same point of multiply connected domain can have a
number of different values:

n 0 n ,


where n is any integer.

If flow is free of vortexes ( 0 ), then potential flow will be simply
connected. In this case n 0 and velocity potential will be single-valued
coordinate function.
We should come to the same result if any bodies in spite of one or
several vortex filaments would be placed in potential flow, for example a
wing creating vortex circulation 0 (not equal to zero) over its closed
contour. In this case potential flow is not simply connected and velocity
potential will be multiple-valued.
Any multiply connected domain can be artificially transformed into
simply connected by drawing additional boundary surfaces in flow that
eliminate foreign inclusions (vortexes, bodies) from considered domain.
2.7.3. Continuity equation for potential fluid motion in
Cartesian coordinate system.
It was proved in subsection 2.3 that continuity equation in general form
can be written in the following way
1 d Vx V y V z


Substituting values of velocity components according to formulas

(2.59), we shall have
1 d 2 2 2

dt x 2 y 2 z 2


For incompressible fluid i.e. const continuity equation will have the
following form

2 2 2

x2 y2 z2
this equation
coordinates x ,


equation is called Laplace's equation, function satisfying

is called harmonic function. So, for potential flow of
fluid velocity potential will be harmonic function of
y, z.

Laplace's equation (2.66) is a linear differential equation expressed in
second order partial derivatives. Now methods to solve this equation are well
known. Own velocity potential corresponds to each specific potential fluid
flow. As there is infinite number of fluid flows so equation (2.66) has infinite
number of solutions. Boundary conditions are introduced into practice to
obtain the solution of Laplace's equation that corresponds to body of given
shape and desired condition on external boundaries of fluid flow.
Supposing, that solid body which surface is given by function f(x, y, z)
is streamed by fluid flow with velocity parallel to axis 0 x on infinity ( r )
and equals to V . In this case it is necessary that the following boundary
condition would work: when r velocities have the following values
V x V , V y Vz 0 .
For inseparable streaming we have the second boundary condition:
normal velocity component equals to zero Vn 0 on body surface.
For plane potential motion continuity equation for incompressible fluid
(Laplace's equation) will take the following form

2 2



In conclusion it should be noted that only harmonic functions could

define potential flow of incompressible fluid.
2.7.4. Continuity equation for potential motion of
incompressible fluid in polar coordinate system
Lets consider plane potential flow of incompressible fluid. Pick out an
infinite small area abcd bounded by two infinitely close polar radiuses and
two infinitely close circles with radiuses r and r dr (fig. 2.26). Lets try to
calculate masses of fluid inflowing through edges ab and ad and flowing out
through edges dc and bc . We shall consider mass of fluid flowing out as
positive and mass of fluid flowing in as negative.
Fluid mass that flows in through edge ad in a unit time is
mad Vr r d ,
through edge ab is
mab Vs dr .
Fluid mass that flows out through edge bc in a unit time is

mbc Vr r d

( Vr r d )dr ,

Fig. 2.26. Determination of continuity

equation in polar coordinate system

through edge dc is
mdc Vs dr

( Vs dr )d .

Immutability of mass in time dm dt 0 is required for continuity

condition of incompressible fluid
mab mad mbc mdc 0
Making summation of fluid flowed in and flowed out

Vr r d Vs dr Vr r d ( Vr r d )dr Vs dr
( Vs dr )d 0

we shall have

( Vr r d )dr
( Vs dr )d 0 .

Substituting velocities Vr and Vs

r r

with equations (2.61), we shall obtain

Making differentiation and dividing through by r finally we shall have

1 2

r 2 r r r 2 2


Equation (2.68) is the Laplace's equation in polar coordinate system.

2.7.5. Stream (Flow) function
In aerodynamics the so called stream function has great importance
in analysis of streams. Lets clear up its meaning for potential plane-parallel
steady motion of incompressible fluid.
Plane-parallel flow is called flow where fluid particles moving parallel to
fixed plane, and at the same time gas-dynamic variables have equal values
in corresponding points of all planes that are parallel to it.
Differential equation of streamlines (2.14) has following form for planeparallel fluid motion
dx dy

Vx V y
V x dy V y dx 0 .


Substituting in this equation values V x and V y expressed in function of

coordinates x and y making integration we can obtain equation that
connects coordinates x and y with arbitrary constant. To each value of
arbitrary constant will be correspond definite line of fluid flow. Differential
binomial in the left part of equation (2.69) is total differential of function
(x, y) .
Continuity equation (2.26) for considering case can be written in
following way

Vx ( V y )



As it follows from ratio velocities V x and V y can be expressed by






In fact substituting (2.71) in (2.70) we obtain identity


x y x y
Then substituting values V x and V y from (2.71) to (2.69) we shall have


dx d 0 ,
from which by integration we shall find equation of streamlines
(x, y) C ,


where C is an arbitrary constant.

Equation (2.72) is an equation of streamlines family. Giving different
values to constant C we shall obtain different flow lines that belong to this
family. Function is called stream (flow) function.
Comparing of formulas (2.59) and (2.71) leads to important ratios

x y




that are called Coushy-Rimanss or DAlamber-Eulers condition.

Following ration between functions and can be established by
multiplying from formulas (2.73):

x x y y
As it known from mathematics this
ratio is condition of perpendicular
curves (x, y) C and (x, y) C
(fig. 2.27). So, families of flow lines and
orthogonal in potential plane steady
fluid flow. Flow function for potential
fluid flow and as velocity potential ,
corresponds to Laplace's equation.
Actually using condition of potentiality
Fig. 2.27. Family of equipotential lines
and streamlines

V y

V x

and ratios (2.71) we obtain Laplace's equation

2 2

x2 y2
If consider flow function as velocity potential so, according to
Coushy-Rimans condition (2.73) velocity potential of initial fluid flow will
become flow function i.e. equipotential lines of initial flow will become flow
lines in new flow. Velocity vectors of particles in new flow will turn on angle

with respect to velocity vectors of particles of initial flow.

Thus, functions and can be permuted. Two fluid flows described
by these functions are called conjugated.
It should be noted that flow
function exists under plane-parallel fluid
flow independently of if fluid flow is
vortex or potential, as only continuity of
fluid flow was supposed under flow
function determination.

Fig. 2.28. Determination of physical

meaning of streamlines

Lets clear up physical meaning of flow function . Consider cylindrical

surface with single altitude leaning against contour that connects points A
and B in space filled by plane potential fluid flow (fig. 2.28). Volumetric fluid
consumption through surface element which has contour element dl in its
base, is equal to
dQ Vn dl V x cos( x ,n ) V y cos( y ,n ) dl

cos( x ,n )

, cos( y,n )

minus sign before c os( y ,n ) had been taken because while moving along
segment dl from point B to point A dx 0 .
Substituting velocities V x and V y by their expressions according to
(2.71) we shall obtain
dy dx

dl d ,



dQ Vn dl

from which fluid consumption through contour AB we shall determine in

following form

Q AB dQ d B A ,


i.e. volumetric fluid consumption of incompressible fluid flowing through

contour between two streamlines does not depend on contour form end is
equal to difference of flow lines values in endpoints.
From it follows if points A and B coincide fluid consumption is equal
to zero ( Q 0 )for single valued flow function . If curve AB is flow line
section, fluid consumption through it will be also equal to zero (as along flow
line const ). If under full bypassing over closed contour flow function does
not come to its initial value it means that flow function is multiple valued
and fluid consumption Q will be differ from zero. It can take place if advance
or retract of fluid is carried out inside of fluid, i.e. there are so called sources
or drains inside contour. From formula (2.75) and fig. 2.28 follows that fluid
volume flowing between two arbitrary flow lines in a unit time is constant
value, numerically equal to constants value difference that correspond to
these flow lines.
2.6.7. Complex potential
As it was shown, the basic functions characterizing the properties of
potential plane motion, (i.e. stream function x, y and velocity potential
x, y ), are interconnected by the equations



In the theory of complex variable function these equations show the

condition that the complex combination of these 2functions of 2 actual
variables, i.e. x, y i x, y , is a complex variable function z x iy . Lets put
this function through w :

w z i


The function w z is an analytical function of a variable and is called

complex potential or flow characteristic function.
Lets consider the derivative from complex potential w z i with
respect to complex variable z x iy . The expression for derivative will take
the form



By substituting the derivatives in the expression (2.76) by the formulae

(5.73), well obtain:
V x iV y .

This expression is called complex velocity.