Glossary

Cessna Citation Mustang in flight

Drag

Drag is the aerodynamic force that works against a public or private plane in flight. Drag can be created by every part of the aircraft, including the engines. Drag is a mechanical force and is generated when a solid body connects with a fluid (liquid or gas). Drag can also be described as a type of friction. To reduce the effects of drag on an aircraft, most private planes are designed with sleek surfaces.

Two Basic Types of Drag in Aviation

There are two basic types of drag: parasitic drag and lift-induced drag.

Parasitic Drag – A solid object moving through a fluid environment, like a liquid or a gas, causes this type of drag. In aviation, the solid object would be an aircraft, and the fluid would be the atmosphere. There are multiple components to parasitic drag. Two of the more common components are: viscous pressure drag and drag due to surface roughness.

Self-Induced Drag – Also known as simply induced drag, this type of drag occurs when lift is involved. A fuselage or private plane wing can create self-induced drag. There are two main components to this type of drag: drag due to the formation of vortices and the existence of extra viscous drag.