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6 Answers

Aerodynamic braking

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Aerodynamics

How do I apply aerodynamic brakes in a C152 or C172RG on landing?

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6 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Jun 24, 2014

    After landing, you will slowly let the nose drop to the runway. After the nose drops keep full back pressure on the controls. The elevator will create quite a bit of extra induced drag to help slow down the airplane.

    Aerodynamic braking in action.

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  2. Best Answer


    Mark Kolber on Jun 25, 2014

    I’ll modify Wes’ first sentence slightly, but only because saying the same thing two different ways sometimes helps with understanding:

    After landing you keep full back pressure on the controls until the nose drops to the runway because it just won’t stay up (i.e. fly) anymore. And keep it there until the airplane slows to the speed you want.

    I’m not so sure about the net induced drag produced once the airplane is completely on the runway but the profile drag produced by keeping the nose up as long as possible is substantial.

    For a few years I flew an older Comanche with no toe brakes. To use the handbrake as little as possible, this was =the= way to land and slow down.

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  3. psequeira on Jun 26, 2014

    Thank you Wes and Mark!

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  4. Brian on Jun 26, 2014

    “I’m not so sure about the net induced drag produced once the airplane is completely on the runway but the profile drag produced by keeping the nose up as long as possible is substantial.”

    Keeping the nose up increases your Cl. As you know, Cl is a key element in the induced drag formula. In other words, it’s actually induced drag, not profile drag, that is present in this scenario.

    Also, in a tricycle aircraft the CG is forward of the main wheels. The aircraft rotates about the CG, right? In other words, holding the yoke back allows you to put more pressure on the main gear giving you improved braking. So it isn’t just an aerodynamic benefit, but a physical benefit as well.

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  5. Brian on Jun 30, 2014

    Mark,

    I should add that this Cl increase is not limited to the main wing. One might think that because the main wing’s AOA has decreased when the nose comes down (which it does) that the type of drag is no longer induced.

    However, is the tail not also a lifting surface? In other words, the tail itself is a wing and therefore is subject to the same drag definitions of the main wing and aircraft as a whole. That is to say that the tail is attempting to create lift when the elevator is held either stop and, therefore, is creating its own induced drag.

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  6. psequeira on Jul 07, 2014

    Thanks for the help Brian. Your explanation was very interesting and eye opening must add!

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