Air Resistance vs. Friction: Detailed Insights!

Drag force is another term for air resistance. Air resistance force is not very strong. Let us discuss friction vs. air resistance in-depth perspectives!

Air resistance Friction
The force that is produced by air is known as air resistance. When an object is travelling through the air, the force works in the opposite direction. The resistance generated by substances in touch as they move past one another is known as friction.
Acceleration, the configuration of the object passing through into the air, and area all affect air resistance. Air resistance and density are all influenced by altitude, temperature, and humidity. Three variables primarily affect the frictional force between two bodies: body deformation, adhesion between body surfaces, and surface roughness.
The formula of the air resistance is,
FD = ½ρv2CDA
FD = Force of the air resistance
ρ = Density of fluid
v = Speed of the substance relative to fluid
CD =Air resistance coefficient
A = Cross sectional area  
The formula of the friction is,
f = μN
f = Friction force
μ = Coefficient of friction
N = Normal force  
Passenger planes, paper aeroplanes, bicycles, trees that drop their leaves, walking through some kind of storm, hot air balloons, floating objects, and feathers that land on the earth are a few instances of air fiction. Examples of friction include skating, a vehicle diving on a surface, hammering a nail into the wall, crossing the street, putting the brakes on a moving car, transitioning to a garden plane ride, writing in a notepad, writing on a chalkboard, after lighting a match, hitting a carpet or foot mat with a stick to dust it.
The drag force depends on the square of the velocity and the air density. Any gas’s density depends on its pressure; as the pressure rises, the density rises as well. When a result, the drag force for a given velocity increases as the air pressure and density both rise. For small velocities, the hypothetical force is proportional to the velocity. When the velocity increases, that proportionality deviates. It specifically fails when the Reynolds’ number exceeds a certain value.
Difference between air resistance and friction
Hot air balloon IMGP0348a
Image Credit – Hot air balloon by Alexey V. KurochkinCC-BY-SA-4.0)

The force that restricts an aircraft’s motion through the air is called drag. The resistance increases with speed and area, respectively. We will go over air friction vs. air resistance and air friction vs. fluid friction in more detail.

Air resistance vs. fluid friction

By opposing the force of gravity, air resistance reduces an object’s rate of acceleration. Let us compare fluid friction to air resistance.

Air resistance Fluid friction
The force operating against to an object moving through the air is known as air resistance. The force’s strength varies greatly from one object to another. The friction between layers of a viscous fluid that are flowing in relation to one another is what is known as fluid friction.
Due to gravity, air resistance is produced in the direction that is opposite the object’s velocity. The direction in which the fluid friction is produced is opposite the direction of the fluid flow.
The object experiencing air resistance experiences less buoyant force. The fluid force is greatly amplified by the buoyant force.
Parachutes and a piece of paper in the air are instances of air resistance. The movement of coffee when it is stirred, the flow of water when it is sucked through a straw, a person paddling in the water, and the flow of honey when it is smeared on bread are a few examples of fluid friction.
Difference between air resistance and fluid friction

A falling object will eventually stop accelerating as a result of air resistance and arrive at its terminal velocity at zero acceleration. According to the most popular model for air resistance, the force’s strength is influenced by the air’s density.


This article has shown that friction and air friction are two distinct concepts. Friction between air and another object is known as air resistance. When a thing travels through the air, it experiences force. The two constant forces of nature that move every item on Earth are air resistance and gravity.

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