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Updated: Jul 3, 2020

What is it??

Stall velocity is the minimum velocity at which the lifting surfaces(usually wings) on an aircraft starts to generate lift.

If the velocity of the aircraft is reduced during a flight reaching near to the stall velocity, then any minor input the control surfaces can stall the aircraft badly.

Aircrafts with less area at the tips for example the elliptical wing planform, the tips easily stall due to lesser area, which is generally called the Tip stall, is usually observed during landings and take-offs.

Basic formula for stall velocity:


  • Here C.L is the coefficient of lift value and is fixed for a given airfoil depending on the designer.

  • Stall velocity reduces with increase in lifting surface area(usually wing area) thus slow flyers have larger wing area.

  • Stall velocity is less at lower altitudes and keep increasing with altitude as the density of the air reduces with increase in altitude.(Thicker the air lower the stall velocity).


  • Well at level flight the value of lift is equal to weight. Thus more the weight, greater the lifting force to keep the aircraft in the air, thus greater stall speeds.

  • Lesser the aircraft weight, minimum lift to keep the aircraft in air, thus lower the stall velocity.

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