Physics Ideas

Parachute fall

Moments of free fall and landing of paratroopers

When jumping from an airplane, the skydiver falls with an accelerated movement, because the weight of his body is greater than the air resistance.

The physics responsible for this study is aerodynamics . Aerodynamics

explains the fact that athletes in this area always jump with legs and arms outstretched, as this increases air resistance and decreases the free fall speed of their bodies. For a skydiver in free fall, his final speed before the opening of the parachute varies approximately between 200 and 240 km/h. It is important to emphasize that the maximum speed acquired in the fall depends on the mass, that is, the heavier the body, the faster it falls.

This acceleration in free fall, even with arms and legs extended, happens until the moment the parachute opens, causing the air resistance to increase even more, thus reducing the speed of the parachutist.

After that, there comes a moment when the air resistance and the weight of the skydiver become equal, causing the descent to happen with constant speed, making possible a smooth arrival to the ground.

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