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# What is the average terminal velocity of a skydiver

#### Bydreamtravel

Jul 24, 2023

## What is the Average Terminal Velocity of a Skydiver?

Terminal velocity is the constant speed that a free-falling object reaches when the force of gravity is balanced by the force of air resistance. For a skydiver, terminal velocity depends on several factors, including body position, weight, and the altitude at which they are jumping.

### Body Position

The body position of a skydiver has a significant impact on their terminal velocity. A skydiver in a spread-eagle position, with their arms and legs outstretched, has a much higher surface area than a skydiver in a streamlined position, with their body held close to their chest. The increased surface area of the spread-eagle position creates more drag, which slows down the skydiver’s fall.

### Weight

The weight of a skydiver also affects their terminal velocity. Heavier skydivers have a greater force of gravity acting on them, which causes them to fall faster than lighter skydivers. However, the difference in terminal velocity between a heavy skydiver and a light skydiver is relatively small.

### Altitude

The altitude at which a skydiver is jumping also has a slight effect on their terminal velocity. The air at higher altitudes is less dense than the air at lower altitudes, which means that there is less air resistance to slow down the skydiver. As a result, skydivers jumping from higher altitudes reach a slightly higher terminal velocity than skydivers jumping from lower altitudes.

### Average Terminal Velocity

The average terminal velocity of a skydiver is approximately 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour). This is the speed that a skydiver in a spread-eagle position, weighing 175 pounds (80 kilograms), would reach after falling for about 12 seconds. However, it is important to note that this is just an average, and individual skydivers may reach slightly higher or lower terminal velocities depending on their body position, weight, and the altitude at which they are jumping.

### Factors that Affect Terminal Velocity

In addition to the factors mentioned above, several other factors can affect the terminal velocity of a skydiver, including:

Wind speed: A strong wind can slow down or speed up a skydiver, depending on the direction of the wind.
Air temperature: Colder air is denser than warmer air, which means that it creates more drag and slows down the skydiver.
Equipment: The type of equipment that a skydiver is using can also affect their terminal velocity. Skydivers who are using a wingsuit or a parachute will reach a lower terminal velocity than skydivers who are free-falling.

### Conclusion

The average terminal velocity of a skydiver is approximately 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour). However, this is just an average, and individual skydivers may reach slightly higher or lower terminal velocities depending on their body position, weight, the altitude at which they are jumping, and several other factors.

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