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I am modelling the Cessna 210 for FlightGear, which has cowl flaps. I want the model to be as realistic as possible, and so, I want to know: how much drag do cowl flaps produce ? I could not find any data on this in the Internet.

Another airplane in FlightGear, the Cessna 182, has already cowl flaps modelled, and they cause an airspeed increase of about 20 kts. Is this normal ?

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I did some flight testing last night in a C182, and I saw a speed increase of 3-4 knots when I closed the cowl flaps at cruise. While I won’t pretend my methodology was rigorously scientific, the results were consistent enough across different flight profiles that I’m confident in saying FlightGear’s 20 knots is grossly incorrect.

The C210 cruises quite a bit faster than a C182, so even same-sized cowl flaps should cause more drag, but I’m not sure how significant the difference would be. Maybe 10 knots? Without a C210 to test, I can only guess.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you ! At least the C182 will now have realistic drag increase :D $\endgroup$
    – Programmer
    Oct 19 '21 at 15:48

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