Can cows fly? Simcenter FLOEFD investigates

Jun 14, 2019 | FloEFD

Part 1 – Only in the mooovies

It has been observed that cows tend to stand with their rumps facing the oncoming wind.

There has been much debate (if you know where to look), stretching back almost weeks, as to why this might be.

We’ll come back to this pressing question at the end.

In the mean time I’ll present some simulation studies performed by a colleague, Sergio Antioquia, that investigate the aerodynamic nature of cows, using Simcenter FLOEFD, our CAD embedded highly automated CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software product.


Cows haven’t evolved to fly. Quite the opposite.

Actually the only people known to have witnessed flying cows have been Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.

So what kind of wind forces must cows withstand as they munch away?
What chance is there of them flying off when the wind picks up?

Sticking something in an oncoming air flow and simulating the resulting air flow and noting the cow’s integrated surface pressure distribution is a very straight forward study with Simcenter FLOEFD.

The original CAD image of the cow that we used is shown here.

Hardly distinguishable from real life, it’s no surprise that the web site I downloaded it from had a disclaimer!

For this project we’ll be using Simcenter FLOEFD’s unique octree splitting, polyhedral meshing system and its integral boundary layer approach to study lift and drag coefficients, the effect of the Beaufort Scale and how windy it will have to get for the cow to lift off!


For now, a sneak peek at Simcenter FLOEFD’s adaptive mesh refinement technology, mesh just where you need it, automatically:


and cow surface pressure distribution and 2D streamlines shown using arrows on a downstream plane:


Download Here the White Paper to continue reading:

  • Part 2 – Aerocownamic lift and drag
  • Part 3 – Superbly sonic


Ti piacerebbe ricevere contenuti come questi direttamente via mail?

Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter!

Simcenter FLOEFD

Computational Fluid Dinamics

Simcenter FLOEFD is the only fluid dynamics simulation software which is really embedded into CAD.
It is powerful, accurate and simple to use.
FLOEFD is distributed in Italy by BSim Engineering.