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Forces Active in a Drone Flight

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

Contributed by Amit Lal



As the renowned physicist Sir Isaac Newton had said, for any body in rest or uniform motion and external force is required for bringing about change in their present state of motion. We see drones taking off , flying, landing, doing maneuvers so for bringing about change in these there need to be force applied. What are the different forces acting on a drone?

There are four principal forces behind flight of a body . Namely

  • Thrust

  • Lift

  • Weight

  • Drag



Forces exist in forms of action and reaction. Thrust and Drag appear as a pair and Lift and Weight appear as a pair.

Thrust : Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Newton's Third Law. When a system expels or accelerates mass in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction, to be applied to that system.

Lift : A fluid flowing around the surface of an object exerts a force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the force parallel to the flow direction.

Weight : Weight is the force generated by the gravitational attraction of the earth on the airplane. Aerodynamic forces are mechanical forces and the airplane has to be in physical contact with the the air which generates the force.

Drag: Weight is the force generated by the gravitational attraction of the earth on the airplane.Aerodynamic forces are mechanical forces and the airplane has to be in physical contact with the the air which generates the force. uced drag, is a result of an airfoil developing lift. This is how drones utilize forces to be able to fly.

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