The AOPA short course on aerodynamics

NASA guide to aerodynamics


The Drag vs. Speed curve - what does it mean.

Aerodynamic drag has two main components, Parasitic drag, similar to the air drag your car generates goes up with the square of the speed through the air. Induced drag is a result of the circulation caused by the wing as it generates lift. Go to this NASA web site for a discussion on drag


How is lift generated. You would think that this is very common knowledge in aviation

There are many ways of describing how lift is generated. Most of them are not correct. Check out NASA's discussion on this subject

What do the Coefficient of Lift and Drag curves shown on the left really mean. Click here to find out..


Popular explanations of how lift is generated are misleading and oversimplified

If you read over NASA's paper you may wonder if there is a simpler explanation. Click here for my version of the generation of lift and how it compares to the standard canned versions.


Drag and airspeed are one of the key relationships in aerodynamics. Beyond this is the power and thrust required for flight.

We've all seen this curve. It was discussed in more detail in the references at the top of this page. But how do power and thrust related to Airspeed. Read here for more details.


Every pilot knows that Load Factor increases with increasing bank angle

Most pilots can even recite that the increased g load will be 1.4 for a 45 degree bankd and 2 for a 60 degree bank. But, that is for a level coordinated turn. What happend during descending and climbing turns.