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# Parasitic drag

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## Drag curve for a body in steady flight

Parasitic drag is drag that results when an object is moved through a fluid medium (in the case
ofaerodynamic drag, a gaseous medium, more specifically, the atmosphere). Parasitic drag is a
combination ofform drag, skin friction drag and interference drag. (The other
components, induced drag and wave drag, are separate components of total drag, and are NOT
components of parasitic drag.)
In flight, induced drag results from the need to maintain lift. It is greater at lower speeds where a
high angle of attack is required. As speed increases, the induced drag decreases, but parasitic drag
increases because the fluid is striking the object with greater force, and is moving across the object's
surfaces at higher speed. As speed continues to increase into
the transonic and supersonic regimes, wave drag enters the picture. Each of these drag components
changes in proportion to the others based on speed. The combined overall drag curve therefore
shows a minimum at some airspeed; an aircraft flying at this speed will be close to its optimal
efficiency. Pilots will use this speed to maximize the gliding range in case of an engine failure.
However, to maximize the gliding endurance, the aircraft's speed would have to be at the point of
minimum power, which occurs at lower speeds than minimum drag.
At the point of minimum drag, CD,o (drag coefficient of aircraft when lift equals zero) is equal to
CD,i (induced drag coefficient, or coefficient of drag created by lift). At the point of minimum power,
CD,o is equal to one third times CD,i. This can be proven by deriving the following equations:

and

where

Contents
[hide]

1 Form drag

2 Profile drag

3 Interference drag

4 Skin friction

6 References

Form drag
Form drag or pressure drag arises because of the shape of the object. The general
size and shape of the body are the most important factors in form drag; bodies with a
larger presented cross-section will have a higher drag than thinner bodies; sleek
("streamlined") objects have lower form drag. Form drag follows the drag equation,
meaning that it increases with the square of velocity, and thus becomes more important
for high-speed aircraft.
Form drag depends on the longitudinal section of the body. A prudent choice of body
profile is essential for a low drag coefficient. Streamlines should be continuous,
andseparation of the boundary layer with its attendant vortices should be avoided.

Profile drag
Profile drag is usually defined as the sum of form drag and skin friction.[1] However,
the term is often used synonymously with form drag.

Interference drag
Interference drag results when airflow around one part of an object (such as a fuselage)
must occupy the same space as the airflow around another part (such as a wing). The
two competing airflows must speed up in order to pass through the restricted area; this
speeding-up process requires extra energy and creates turbulence, resulting in a
measurable increase in the form drag. This velocity increase is present at all airspeeds,
but becomes even more important in the transonic range when the resulting velocity
becomes sonic, producing shock waves.
Interference drag plays a role throughout the entire aircraft
(e.g., nacelles, pylons, empennage) and its detrimental effect is always kept in mind by
designers. Ideally, the pressure distributions on the intersecting bodies should
complement each others pressure distribution. If one body locally displays a negative

pressure coefficient, the intersecting body should have a positive pressure coefficient. In
reality, however, this is not always possible. Particular geometric characteristics on
aircraft often show how designers have dealt with the issue of interference drag. A prime
example is the wing-body fairing, which smooths the sharp angle between the wing and
the fuselage. Another example is the junction between the horizontal and vertical
tailplane in a T-tail. Often, an additional fairing (acorn) is positioned to reduce the added
supervelocities. The position of the nacelle with respect to the wing is a third example of
how interference-drag considerations dominate this geometric feature. For nacelles that
are positioned beneath the wing, the lateral and longitudinal distance from the wing is
dominated by interference-drag considerations. If there is little vertical space available
between the wing and the nacelle (because of ground clearance) the nacelle is usually
positioned much more in front of the wing. The NACA area rule is one approach to
reducing transonic interference drag.

Skin friction
Skin friction drag arises from the friction of the fluid against the "skin" of the object that
is moving through it. Skin friction arises from the interaction between the fluid and the
skin of the body, and is directly related to the wetted surface, the area of the surface of
the body that is in contact with the fluid. As with other components of parasitic drag, skin
friction follows the drag equation and rises with the square of the velocity.
The skin friction coefficient,

, is defined by

where
is the local wall shear stress, is the fluid density, and
is the freestream velocity (usually taken outside the boundary layer or at the inlet). [2] For
boundary layers without a pressure gradient in the x direction, it is related to the
momentum thickness as

For comparison, the turbulent empirical relation known as the 1/7 Power Law
(derived by Theodore von Krmn) is:

where

## is the Reynolds number.[3]

Skin friction:- is caused by viscous drag in the boundary layer around the
object. The boundary layer at the front of the object is usually laminar and
relatively thin, but becomes turbulent and thicker towards the rear. The
position of the transition point depends on the shape of the object. There
are two ways to decrease friction drag: the first is to shape the moving body
so that laminar flow is possible, like an airfoil. The second method is to
decrease the length and cross-section of the moving object as much as
practicable. To do so, a designer can consider the fineness ratio, which is
the length of the aircraft divided by its diameter at the widest point (L/D).

Skin

Drag friction

0%

100%

~10

~90%

%
~90

~10%

100%

0%