Q:

What is the terminal velocity for a human?

A:

Quick Answer

The terminal velocity of a free-falling human depends on the mass and density of the person. In general, the heavier the body, the longer it can accelerate before drag holds it at a constant speed. For a typical human, terminal velocity ranges between 53 and 56 meters per second.

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Full Answer

This velocity works out to between 110 and 125 mph. A skydiver in the bullet position usually achieves this speed within six or seven seconds. After that, the diver's acceleration is balanced against the resistance provided by the atmosphere. By altering their body positions, professional skydivers sometimes reach higher velocities in free fall; the record terminal velocity is 321 mph.

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