måndag 20 augusti 2012

Why Reject an Article with Interesting Accurate Results?

Reviewer 2 of our article New Theory of Flight acknowledges:
  1. The authors have put their fingers accurately on many of the defects in the truncated versions of aerodynamic theory that are now current.
  2. Classical theory ... is a masterpiece of physical modeling.
  3. The authors experience great difficulty with the relationship between potential flow and real flow. This is not surprising because it is glossed over in the great majority of contemporary texts.
  4. The present authors may be innocent of mathphobia.
  5. I believe that the authors of the paper under review would have no quarrel with the orthodox theory if they knew all of the details, although they are right to quarrel with the truncated version that they, like others, have apparently received.
  6. The authors have then sought their own explanations, stimulated by interesting results from their Navier-Stokes code. However, they have failed to ask questions that would have been suggested by any experienced practical aerodynamicist.
  7. However, the authors are correct that separation might be fundamentally different in 3D than in 2D.
  8. Section IV states that sharp trailing edges are not necessary. This will not come as a surprise to any practicing aerodynamicist
  9. Section V invokes scale invariance to explain how, within their theory, the lift and drag would be independent of trailing edge radius.
  10. Section VII describes the authors computational experiments, which are three-dimensional as, of course, are real wings.
  11. Section II describes the computer code that is their basis for disputing the classical theory. This is their area of expertise, and it may be assumed that their description is accurate.
  12. This review is very much longer than I would normally write, because I believe that serious issues of substantial public interest are involved.
This gives substantial credit to the article but does not fit with the conclusion of the reviewer that
  • that publication of any of this material, in any form, would be highly retrogressive.
What seems unacceptable to AIAA is critique of state-of-the-art voiced by a research group which is not part of state-of-the-art. Internal critique is ok but not external. This is characteristic of a closed hierarchical society. This is expressed by the reviewer:
  • They should make the test of running their code in 2D mode, which would eliminate their explanation but leave other explanations in place.
So, classical theory is 2d, but real wings are 3d as is our theory. Restriction to 2d would leave classical explanations in place but would not concern real wings. I think this is a good summary of the reviewers position, offered by the reviewer. It means that classical theory is unphysical but correct as an unphysical theory.

PS Reviewer 2 does not appear to be native English speaker. Swedish?

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