It has been a long held view that aspect ratio of the wing has a significant role to play in the lift-dependent drag. However, mixed opinions have been expressed on the importance of aspect ratio in reducing lift-dependent drag. I've read a lot of papers and articles and haven't found an absolute answer! So how does Aspect Ratio really play out with lift-dependent drag?

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    – Pondlife
    Jun 2, 2021 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Aspect ratio is overrated.

What counts is span loading, i.e. the weight which needs to be supported per unit of span. For more, please read this answer.

Generally, more important than the aspect ratio is the induced drag of a wing which carries a given mass at its center. Now the mass of the wing itself also needs to become small, counterintuitively leading to designs with higher span and a bell-shaped lift distribution.


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