Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

6 Answers

Aerodynamic braking

Asked by: 3808 views ,

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

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

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.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 1 Votes

  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.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. psequeira on Jun 26, 2014

    Thank you Wes and Mark!

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  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.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  5. Brian on Jun 30, 2014


    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.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  6. psequeira on Jul 07, 2014

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

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.