# How does weight influence your speed when descending?

5 min read

##### Asked by: Alka Chambers

## How does weight affect rate of descent?

**A change in weight does not affect the descent angle**. With an aeroplane flying at its best L/D ratio, an increase in weight will increase the FCW, increasing the speed down the slope, and therefore the rate of descent, but not the descent angle.

## Do heavy things go downhill faster?

Many people expect that a heavier wheel will naturally roll downhill faster than a lighter one. But **when an object rolls downhill, its speed depends not on the weight of the wheel, but on where the weight is located**. When weight is located far from the center of the wheel, the wheel is harder to get rolling.

## What effect does weight have on speed?

**Weight affects speed down the ramp** (the pull of gravity), but it’s the mass (and friction) that affects speed after a car leaves the ramp. Heavier cars have more momentum, so they travel further, given the same amount of friction.

## Does weight make a difference in speed?

**There’s certainly evidence that weight affects speed**: An American College of Sports Medicine study shows that a 5 percent reduction in weight improved 3K times by 3.1 percent, while a 10 percent reduction improved times by 5.2 percent, and experts say that this difference becomes greater as your distance increases.

## Does weight Affect plane speed?

**The higher our weight is, the higher maneuvering speed can go**, which is interesting, but the other effect is if we go overweight, we have the ability to then cause damage to the aircraft.

## Why does an aircraft descend quicker when it is lighter?

**Because an aircraft is restricted to a maximum speed during descent, the heavier aircraft has to maintain a lower rate of descent than a lighter aircraft**; otherwise, it would overspeed. Remember, heavier aircraft have a greater momentum and this weight driven momentum will produce a greater speed in vertical dive.

## Why do heavier riders descend faster?

Heavier riders can descend faster than light riders because **heavier riders don’t have significantly more volume/surface area than their lighter counterparts**, despite possibly major differences in weight.

## Why do heavier objects fall faster downhill?

Acceleration of Falling Objects

**Heavier things have a greater gravitational force AND heavier things have a lower acceleration**. It turns out that these two effects exactly cancel to make falling objects have the same acceleration regardless of mass.

## Will a heavier person fall faster?

**No, heavier objects fall as fast (or slow) as lighter objects, if we ignore the air friction**. The air friction can make a difference, but in a rather complicated way. The gravitational acceleration for all objects is the same.

## Are lighter people faster?

When you lose weight it’s easier for your body to deliver oxygen throughout your body. And **when your body can deliver oxygen to our muscles more efficiently, you’re able to run at a faster speed.**

## Does a heavier bike slow you down?

Also, if you’re an overweight cyclist it’s not just about the weight, it’s about surface area. If you’re carrying a lot more body fat you’re less aerodynamic as well. That’s an additive effect: **not only is your power-to-weight ratio lower, but you’ve also got more drag, so that’s going to make you slower as well.**

## How much faster will I bike if I lose weight?

If I lose 5 pounds, how much faster will I get? That depends on a number of variables, including terrain. “**On the flats, simply losing five pounds won’t have a huge impact, as you’re looking at a time savings of roughly 10 to 15 seconds [for an hour-long ride]**,” says Menachem Brodie, a Pittsburgh–based cycling coach.

## How does weight affect landing?

Weight. The weight of an aircraft is one of the basic factors that determines the landing distance required by an aircraft. **An increase in weight increases the stall speed of the aircraft**. Stall is a reduction in the lift coefficient generated by a wing as angle of attack increases.

## How does weight affect takeoff?

Increased gross weight can be considered to produce a threefold effect on takeoff performance: (1) **higher liftoff speed, (2) greater mass to accelerate, and (3) increased retarding force (drag and ground friction)**.

## How does the weight affect take off?

Normally, lift-off speed is about 15% above stall speed. Thus **if weight increases -> higher stall speed, your lift-off speed increases too**. As a result more time is needed (higher weight also means slower acceleration) to get to that lift-off speed and you will need more runway at the same time.

## How does weight affect free fall?

The mass, size, and shape of the object are not a factor in describing the motion of the object. So **all objects, regardless of size or shape or weight, free fall with the same acceleration**. On the figure, we show an orbiting Space Shuttle and a space walking astronaut.

## Does weight have an impact on terminal velocity?

**The weight of the object does affect the air drag force on the object and, therefore, its terminal velocity.**

## How does weight affect force?

**Heavier objects (objects with more mass) are more difficult to move and stop**. Heavier objects (greater mass) resist change more than lighter objects. Example: Pushing a bicycle or a Cadillac, or stopping them once moving. The more massive the object (more inertia) the harder it is to start or stop.

## Does weight affect air resistance?

**No.** **In general weight does not affect air resistance**. Air resistance depends on shape. If both feathers are the same shape their drag properties (“air resistance”) will be the same.

## Does a heavier object fall faster?

Given two objects of the same size but of different materials, **the heavier (denser) object will fall faster** because the drag and buoyancy forces will be the same for both, but the gravitational force will be greater for the heavier object.

## Why do heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones?

Looking closer, we can determine that a heavy object has more gravitational force, but also less acceleration, and a lighter object has less gravitational force but greater acceleration. Gravity and acceleration tend to cancel each other out, so these objects still fall at the same rate.