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Baseball Drag Measurements in Free Flight

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
Department of Aerodynamics, Delft University of Technology, NE 2628 Delft, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Takeshi Asai
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 1416;
Received: 8 January 2022 / Revised: 24 January 2022 / Accepted: 25 January 2022 / Published: 28 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Fluid Mechanics)
While baseball is a popular sport with a storied history, the aerodynamic properties of the seamed sports ball are not fully understood. Reported aerodynamic baseball behaviors are primarily based on force measurements from wind tunnels. The following describes a methodology to measure baseball drag in free flight from changes in its speed. The method relies on a high accuracy ball delivery device and speed measurement system. It avoids the large infrastructure, stinger attachment and blockage effects associated with wind tunnels. In the present work, we examined the baseball drag as a function of orientation and with spin. The drag values retrieved from the proposed method are in good agreement with radar and video measurements. However, they are lower than those reported in other wind tunnel measurements, which was attributed to differences in the balls that were tested or the stinger attachment. View Full-Text
Keywords: baseball aerodynamics; aerodynamic drag measurements; free-flight aerodynamics baseball aerodynamics; aerodynamic drag measurements; free-flight aerodynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, L.; Sciacchitano, A. Baseball Drag Measurements in Free Flight. Appl. Sci. 2022, 12, 1416.

AMA Style

Smith L, Sciacchitano A. Baseball Drag Measurements in Free Flight. Applied Sciences. 2022; 12(3):1416.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smith, Lloyd, and Andrea Sciacchitano. 2022. "Baseball Drag Measurements in Free Flight" Applied Sciences 12, no. 3: 1416.

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