Parasitic drag

From Academic Kids

Parasitic drag is drag caused by moving a solid object through a fluid. Parasitic drag is made up of many components, the most prominent being form drag. Skin friction and interference drag are also major components of parasitic drag.

In aviation, induced drag tends to be greater at lower speeds because a high angle of attack is required to maintain lift. However, as speed increases the induced becomes much less, but parasitic drag necessarily increases because the fluid is flowing faster. At even higher speeds in the transonic, wave drag enters the picture. Each of these forms of drag 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 at or close to its optimal efficiency. Pilots will use this speed to maximise endurance (minimum fuel consumption), or maximise gliding range in the event of an engine failure.

Image:Drag_Curve_2.jpg

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