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Michael Max Munk

Michael Max Munk

German aerospace engineer
Michael Max Munk
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German aerospace engineer
A.K.A. Max Munk
Was Engineer
From Germany United States of America
Type Engineering
Gender male
Birth 22 October 1890, Hamburg, Germany
Death 3 June 1986, Ocean City, USA (aged 95 years)
Star sign Libra
Peoplepill ID michael-max-munk
The details


Max Michael Munk (October 22, 1890 – June 3, 1986) was a German aerospace engineer who worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in the 1920s and made contributions to the design of airfoils.

Education and early career

Munk earned an engineering degree from the Hannover Polytechnic School in 1914 and doctorates in both physics and mathematics from the University of Göttingen in 1918 with a dissertation on parametric studies of airfoils under Ludwig Prandtl. Munk's dissertation contained the nucleus of what would become airfoil theory. After World War I, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later to become NASA) brought Munk to the United States. President Woodrow Wilson signed orders allowing Munk to come to the United States and work in government. These orders were required since Germany was a recent enemy and Munk had worked briefly for the German Navy.

Career at NACA

Munk began work at NACA in 1920 and proposed building the new Variable Density Tunnel (VDT) which went into operation in 1922. Munk published more than 40 articles with NACA.

Thin airfoil theory

Munk is best known for his development of thin airfoil theory, a means of modelling the behaviour of airfoils by separating their shape (the "mean camber line") and their varying thickness. This allows separate, and simpler, techniques to model each behaviour. Lift may be assumed to depend on the camber (and angle of attack) alone, and could be modelled by the numerical techniques of the period. Drag depends on the thickness and requires an understanding of viscous flow, which was beyond contemporary capabilities. The thin airfoil technique was introduced in 1922 and remained the major theoretical design technique until the development of laminar flow airfoils in the 1930s.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 10 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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