Air Lift: Ski Jump

The Winter Olympics

The Physics Behind the Jump

Nordic combined is the mix between cross-country skiing and a ski jump. Skiers reach speeds of over 60 mph as they fly the distance of two football fields. Obtaining these lengths and velocities involves physics concepts such as gravity, lift, and drag.

Physics Behind the Body Position

The skiers have to change position within a tenth of a second in order to get the least amout of drag. They utilize their quick relexes in this way in order to go as far as possible. Not only does skiing require fast reflexes, but it also makes flexibility a necessity. While going down the slope the skiers must have their chest on the legs and their arms pointed behind them. They also much parallel their body to the snow. The skiers of the past would try to parallel their skis because it was seen as stylish, but this method actually gets 30% less lift. Instead, skiers should position their skis in a V-formation because the high air pressure under the skis has more surface area to act on.


I believe I can fly- R.kelly by user371005

Air Resistance, Drag

Drag forces act against the oncoming flow velocity.
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