Share
 

Ask an Explainer

Q:

What type of force does water exert on the a plane's floats, which causes the motion of the plane to slow?

A:

When a hydroplane lands on water, it is the friction drag of the floats interacting with the water that slows it down. Because it still is producing lift, it is not crashing straight into the water - it is skimming the surface, using drag from both the surrounding air and the water to slow it down. Water is denser than air, so it creates more friction drag than the air.

Categories: Forces of Flight