Zero-Lift Drag Coefficient

Description

In aerodynamics, the lift-to-drag ratio, or L/D ratio, is the amount of lift generated by a wing or vehicle, divided by the drag it creates by moving through the air. A higher or more favorable L/D ratio is typically one of the major goals in aircraft design; since a particular aircraft’s required lift is set by its weight, delivering that lift with lower drag leads directly to better fuel economy, climb performance, and glide ratio.
It can be shown that the two main drivers of maximum lift-to-drag ratio for a fixed wing aircraft are wingspan and total wetted area. One method for estimating the zero-lift drag coefficient of an aircraft is the equivalent skin-friction method, which makes use of the fact that for a well designed aircraft, zero-lift drag (or parasite drag) is mostly made up of skin friction drag plus a small percentage of pressure drag caused by flow separation.

Related formulas

Variables

CD0zero-lift drag coefficient (dimensionless)
Cfeequivalent skin friction coefficient (dimensionless)
Swetwetted area (m2)
Srefwing reference area (m2)