golf balls and planes

I read something about golf balls yesterday.

Why do golf balls have dimples?

The dimples on golf balls cause turbulence around the ball helping to reduce the drag as it flies through the air.

So here's a question:  Why aren't planes dimpled to help reduce drag while they fly through the air?


  1. Maybe because it is important that airplanes don't spin while they carry their passengers through the air?

  2. Or cars or that matter?

  3. Aeroplanes and the Space Shuttles are aerodynamically designed in wind tunnels by engineers and are a totally different setup from golf balls.

  4. And now a boring response. Evidently , making a dimpled plane would diminish the structural strength.

    With that, I'm outta' here....

  5. Because planes aren't round and are infinitely more aerodynamic.

  6. I agree with you River. Mythbuster has shown that dimpled car use less fuel than normal car when driving at the same speed and distance due to lower wind resistance.

  7. Ha ha... I'm sure someone [smarter than me] also asked why planes aren't built out of whatever the black box is made out of.

  8. Leenie; welcome to drifting. and good point, although some might appreciate a twenty hour roller coaster ride.

    Delores; them too.

    Windsmoke; ask a tongue in cheek question and get a totally sensible answer.

    klahanie; yes, it would I suppose. i know nothing of aerodynamics as you can tell.

    Fenstar DeLuxe; you're right of course.

    drb; I must have missed that episode. So dimpled cars would be more economical?

    FruitCake; yes, and cars too, and trains....It would probably be hellish expensive.

  9. That is the sort of question which pops into my head at 2am and keeps me awake for the rest of the night. And, while some of your answers look plausible - I just don't know.

  10. Elephant's Child; the questions that pop up at 2am are often the best and/or weirdest. We should write them all down.

  11. My poor old mind must be very mundane as I seldom find that type of question coming to my mind? Must admit the original question and some of the answers are incredibly interesting and it was a delight to read them. Thank you for letting me pay you a visit.

  12. Someone already asked that question, MYTHBUSTERS took it it's logical conclusion by dimpling a car and testing that theory. As I remember they didnt really notice enough of a difference to make it worthwhile...look cool though.

  13. So maybe hail-damaged cars go faster.

    When you come here we'll play a round in my backyard.

    It won't be golf.


  14. Imagine an airplane has dimples all over it. Maybe it'll increase in speed. I don't know anything about aerodynamics though.

    cheap electricity queensland

  15. You know, now that I think about it, I have dimples in certain areas and I don't move any faster. What's with that?

  16. Maid Delores.

    Methinks thou fast already
    Nothing keep thee steady.


  17. Mimsie; I don't often get odd questions either, but when I read about the dimples reducing drag on golf balls, I straight away thought why not planes?

    Tempo; dimpled cars might not cause the owners too much worry in a hail storm though. I think cars are quite fast enough already.

    R.H. well thank goodness it won't be golf. I hate golf.

    rose jan; welcome to drifting; I know nothing about aerodynamics either, but I think a dimpled plane might sparkle in the sunlight with all those extra surfaces.

    Delores; perhaps your dimples are in the wrong spot.

    Lord Rochester; I'll leave that for Delores to answer.

  18. And I'm taking you to Ferguson pier, Commonwealth Gardens, and Nelson Place; you cuddly thing.

  19. You remembered wrongly Tempo, watch this on youtube:

    dimpled car effect:
    clean car: 26 miles/gallon
    dirty car: 26 miles/gallon
    dimpled car: 29 miles/gallon, 11% IMPROVEMENT.

    I remembered it clearly because I was surprised myself.


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