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Drag, Lesson 4

A side view of a glider in flight

Product Type: Video Learning Clip
Audience: Educators, Informal, Students
Grade Levels: 9-12

This NASA video segment explores how Newton's Laws of Motion apply to the drag force on an airplane. Viewers watch an instructor at NASA's National Test Pilot School and learn that the drag force on an airplane in flight is the result of the horizontal momentum of air molecules colliding with the airplane. Viewers also learn that this drag force can be changed by reshaping the airplane, changing the angle of attack, and placing speed brakes on the wings. A demonstration illustrates how the drag force on an object can be determined, while derivations of the drag equation from Newton's second law show how the force can be calculated. Onscreen formulas and calculations represent the forces mathematically.

Drag, Lesson 4
Duration: 12 minutes 28 seconds
› View QuickTime [47MB]

More videos and video clips in this series:
Introduction to Newton's Three Laws, Lesson 1
     The Law of Inertia: Newton's First Law (video clip)
     Force Equals Mass Times Acceleration: Newton's Second Law (video clip)
     The Law of Action and Reaction: Newton's Third Law (video clip)
Weight and Balance, Lesson 2
Lift and Rate of Change of Momentum, Lesson 3
Thrust, Lesson 5
Take Off, Lesson 6
Climb and Descent, Lesson 7
Cruise, Lesson 8
The Landing, Lesson 9
     The Landing: Approach (video clip)
     The Landing: Flare (video clip)
     The Landing: Rollout (video clip)
     The Landing: Summary (video clip)

Flight Testing Newton's Laws Main Page

Page Last Updated: December 11th, 2014
Page Editor: Flint Wild