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How many feet does it take to reach terminal velocity?


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February 19, 2012 8:09PM

1) Terminal velocity is never quite reached; a falling object will get closer and closer to terminal velocity. You can put some arbitrary limit, for which you can say that "for all intents and purposes, terminal velocity has been reached", for example, 95%, or 99%, of terminal velocity.

2) The actual terminal velocity varies for different objects. A feather will approach its terminal velocity almost instantly; a heavy object, without much surface area (for example, a steel ball) will have to fall more seconds (and more meters or feet), before it is anywhere close its terminal velocity.