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Density altitude

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How does the reduced induced and parasite drag in high density altitude conditions affect the aircraft performance?

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1 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Jun 02, 2014

    Induced drag is a byproduct of lift. Therefore, if we have less induced drag we also have less lift and depending on the density altitude of the airport that fact could spell disaster for a pilot trying to takeoff.

    Parasitic drag is a function of airspeed as well as the number of molecules flowing around the aircraft. Parasitic drag should decrease at the same indicated airspeed with an increase in density altitude.

    With that said, the powerplant senses density altitude and will lose power with an increase in density altitude. Even though total drag might be reduced, the powerplant will not be able to take advantage of the increased efficiency.

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