What is Stall Speed?

Stall speed is the minimum speed at which an aircraft can maintain level flight or the minimum steady flight speed at which the airplane is controllable, meaning that the lift generated by the wings is no longer sufficient to counteract the weight of the aircraft. At this speed, the wing’s angle of attack becomes too high, and the airflow over the wing separates, causing a loss of lift and a sudden drop in altitude. This is known as an aerodynamic stall and can be very dangerous, especially at low altitudes or during takeoff and landing.

Angle of Attack
Angle of Attack – AOA

Stall speed is influenced by several factors, including the weight of the aircraft, the shape and size of the wings, and the density of the air. It also varies with the bank angle, as turning the aircraft increases the load on the wings and thus increases it.

Bank Angle and Forces
Bank Angle and Forces

Stall speed is an important parameter for pilots to know, as it helps them to determine the appropriate speed for takeoff and landing, and to avoid stalls during flight. Manufacturers determine the stall speed of an aircraft through flight testing and provide this information in the aircraft’s performance data. Pilots must also take into account the effects of weather, altitude, and other factors that can affect the aircraft’s performance.