Airplane Aerodynamics Essay

Airplane Aerodynamics Essay





The effect of an increased air speed on Lift and Drag

The lift system by pressure differential is based on Bernoulli theory. Therefore, an increase in the speed of air will reduce the pressure in that region. Due to the difference of the camber in the upper and lower surfaces, the air passing above the foil will travel along distance and hence more speed than the air moving below the foil. Therefore, the pressure difference in the chamber accounts for about 50% of the lift. The parasitic drag is that which is created by the parts of the plane that do not have any effect on the lifting mechanism such as the windscreen, tires, and others (Hucho, 2013).

Therefore, an increase in the speed of the air will increase the drag around the plane systems (Hucho, 2013). The induced drag is the drag that is caused by the parts that contribute to the lifting mechanism such as the wings and the horizontal tail surface. Since the induced drag is associated with the difference in pressure that is present in the below and above the wing surfaces, as the speed of the air increases the airfoil is forced to produce a low pressure above the wings of the plane and a corresponding increased high pressure below the foils. This concept is happening due to the lift and drag concept that was identified by Bernoulli was known as the pressure difference theory. The formula for the lift derived from the explanation is as follows;

Lift= CL (1/2 PV2) S while Drag = CD (1/2 PV2) S

The CL is the Lift coefficient also known as the angle of attack.

CD is the drag coefficient.

S is the plan area of the foil.

V is the aircraft velocity squared, and the P is the density of the air.


Hucho, W. H. (Ed.). (2013). Aerodynamics of road vehicles: from fluid mechanics to vehicle engineering. Elsevier.

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