## Instrument Flying Handbook Aerodynamic Factors Review of Basic Aerodynamics

Instrument Flying
Handbook

Preface

 Figure 2-3. The Four Forces and Three Axes of Rotation.
 Weight Weight is the force exerted by an aircraft from the pull of gravity, It. acts on an aircraft through its center of gravity (CG) and is straight clown. This should not be confused with the center of lift, which can be significantly different from the CO. As an aircraft is descending, weight is greater than lift. Thrust Thrust is a force that drives an aircraft through the air and can he measured in thrust and/or horsepower. it is a component that is parallel to the center of thrust and overcomes drag providing the aircraft with its forward speed component. Drag Drag is the net aerodynamic force parallel to the relative wind and is generally a sum of two components: induced drag and parasite drag. Induced drag Induced drag is caused from the creation of lift and increases with angle of attack. Therefore, if the wing is not producing lift, induced drag is zero. Conversely, induced drag decreases with airspeed. Parasite drag Parasite drag is all drag not caused from the production of lift. Parasite drag is created by displacement of air by the aircraft, turbulence generated by the airfoil, and the hindrance of airflow as it passes over the surface of the aircraft or components. All of these forces create drag not from the production of lift but the movement of an object through an sir mass. Parasite drag increases with speed and includes skin friction drag, interference drag, and form drag. Skin Friction Drag Covering the entire "wetted" surface of the aircraft is a thin layer of air called a boundary layer. The air molecules on the surface have zero velocity in relation to the surface; however, the layer just above moves over the stagnant molecules below because it is pulled along by a third layer close to the free stream of air. The velocities of the layers increase as the distance from the surface increases until free stream velocity is reached, but all are affected by the free stream. The distance (total) between the skin surface and where free stream velocity is reached is called the boundary layer. At subsonic levels the cumulative layers are about the thickness of a playing card, yet their motion sliding over one another creates a drag force. This force retards motion due to the viscosity of the air and is called skin friction drag. Because skin friction drag is related to a large surface area its affect on smaller aircraft is small versus large transport aircraft where skin friction drag may be considerable. • Interference Drag Interference drag is generated by the collision of airstreams creating eddy currents, turbulence, or restrictions to smooth flow. For instance; the airflow around a fuselage and around the wing meet at some point, usually near the wing's root.. These airflows interfere with each other causing a greater drag than the individual values. This is often the case when external items are placed on an aircraft. That is, the drag of each item individually, added to that of the aircraft, are less than that of the two items when allowed to interfere with one another.

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