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Aerodynamic Drag

Aerodynamic drag on a roller coaster can be a major factor in accurately determining its velocity, particularly at high speeds. It is modeled as follows.

F_{f_{a}} = \frac{1}{2} \rho A_{f}C_{d} v^{2}

Where $\rho$ is the density of air, $A_{f}$ is the frontal area, $C_{d}$ is the drag coefficient, and $v$ is the forward velocity of the car. This, of course, assumes the coaster is moving through still air....

Darla Weiss 2000-02-13